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School psychologists and ethical challenges
journal contributionposted on 2017-07-01, 00:00 authored by M Kapoulitsas, Tim CorcoranTim Corcoran
This research explored how psychologists working in the Victorian secondary state school system construct meaning around ethical practice. The specific aims of the research were to examine psychologists understanding of ethics in practice within schools and to explore challenges they faced regarding professional ethics when working in the education system. A qualitative design was adopted to explore the topic. Five psychologists working in the Victorian state education system were interviewed, and the data were analysed using thematic analysis. Two themes presented from the transcripts: legalities and ethics and varied peer support. The psychologists reported having to confront often and repeated ethical challenges, but despite this, positioned themselves as ethical practitioners. Ethical practice was portrayed as a complex construct that is always socially and politically embedded. Subsequently, discussion on the topic should extend beyond the sole practitioner. The research provides future direction for policy development and workplace procedures, including access to professional supervision.