A comparative overview of educational psychology across continents
The profession of educational psychology (also referred to as ‘school psychology’) is one that has been around in some countries for almost 100 years (e.g. the UK), while in others it is still not yet recognized as a profession at all (e.g. Angola, Bangladesh, and Colombia). While there have been some seminal texts in the past 30 years that have provided interesting data on international comparisons of educational psychology (Burden 1994; Lindsay 1992; Lunt 1991; Oakland and Cunningham 1992) it is really only in the past five to 10 years that one has begun to gain a better understanding of educational psychology across the world. Since 2004, the research by Shane Jimerson and colleagues from the University of California, under the auspices of the International School Psychology Association (ISPA), has played a crucial part in gaining better knowledge of the number of educational psychologists there are across the world, in which countries the profession exists, and the various roles and responsibilities that they have (Jimerson et al. 2004, 2006, 2008a, 2008b, 2009a, 2009b, 2010). This chapter will consider what educational psychology means across the continents and afford the reader an understanding of the role of the educational psychologist in different parts of the world.