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Increasing Understanding of Multiculturalism to Promote School Psychologists’ Competence with Diverse Children and Families. Sherrie L. Proctor, Ph.D. NASP-ERT Minority Scholarship Recipient ‘98. Presentation Overview. Define Culture and Multiculturalism

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Increasing Understanding of Multiculturalism to Promote School Psychologists’ Competence with Diverse Children and Families

Sherrie L. Proctor, Ph.D.

NASP-ERT Minority Scholarship Recipient ‘98

presentation overview
Presentation Overview
  • Define Culture and Multiculturalism
  • The Importance of Multiculturalism To School Psychology
  • Process of Developing Multicultural Competencies
  • Multicultural School Psychology Practices
  • Some Things I’ve Learned
what is culture
What is Culture?

An integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, languages, practices, beliefs, values, customs, courtesies, rituals, manners of interacting and roles, relationships and expected behaviors of a racial, ethnic, religious or social group; and the ability to transmit the above to succeeding generations.

Source: National Center for Cultural Competence of Georgetown University

what is culture1
What is Culture?

Level 3

Level 2

Level 1

what is multiculturalism
What is Multiculturalism?
  • Recognizes broad dimensions of individual identity, including “race, ethnicity, language, sexual orientation [sexual expression/identity], gender, age, disability, class status, education, religious/spiritual orientation, and other cultural dimensions” (APA multicultural practice guidelines and standards, 2002, p. 9).
  • A broad array of differences among people that often hinder communication and comprehension (Sue et al., 1999)
  • As practiced in schools, multiculturalism “is a process, an ideology, and a set of interventions in which school psychologists and other culturally competent professionals engage. It is a worldview that recognizes and values the uniqueness of diverse learners, cultural backgrounds, and identities.” (Carroll, 2009, p.2)
ten components of multiculturalism sue et al 1998
Ten Components of Multiculturalism (Sue et al., 1998)
  • Values cultural pluralism.
  • Promotes social justice, cultural democracy, and equity.
  • Promotes development of attitudes, knowledge, and skills needed to function in a pluralistic society.
  • Includes differences in religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, and geographic region.
  • Emphasizes the importance of using multiple perspectives to study multiple cultures.
ten components of multiculturalism sue et al 19981
Ten Components of Multiculturalism(Sue et al., 1998)
  • Celebrates the achievements of the U.S. and other cultures.
  • Promotes change within individuals, organizations, and society.
  • Involves tension and conflicts regarding what constitutes reality.
  • Values inclusion, cooperation, and movement towards mutually shared goals. Concerned with obtaining positive individual, community, and societal outcomes.
  • A crucial component of analytical thinking.
why is multiculturalism important to school psychology
Why is Multiculturalism Important to School Psychology?
  • By 2042, the majority of US population will be people of color (US Census, 2008)
  • 44% public school children are children of color (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2009)
  • One out of every five school-age children in the U.S. speaks a language other than English (Laija-Rodriguez & Restori, 2009).
  • More than 400 languages represented within the student population with Limited English Proficiency, with Spanish being the most common (Laija-Rodriguez & Restori).
  • School Psychologists primary providers of psychological services to children of color (Zhou, Kehle, Clark, & Jenson, 2004)
why is multiculturalism important to school psychology1
Why is Multiculturalism Important to School Psychology?
  • School Psychologists primary providers of psychological services to children of color (Zhou, Kehle, Clark, & Jenson, 2004).
  • Profession is 1.9% African American; Asian/Pacific Islander, 0.9%; Latino, 3.0%; Native American/Alaskan Native, 0.8%; White, 92.6%; and Other, 0.8% (Curtis et al., 2006).
  • 98.34% of school psychologists serve students who are members of racial/ethnic minority groups (Curtis et al.).
  • School psychology students in APA accredited school psychology programs reported instruction in working with culturally and linguistically diverse students as a weakness (Kearns, Ford, & Brown, 2002).
multicultural flashpoints toward competence
Multicultural “Flashpoints” Toward Competence

Adapted from Carroll (2009) in J. Jones, The Psychology of Multiculturalism in the Schools

the students and families we work with also belong to cultural groups
The Students and Families We Work With Also Belong To Cultural Groups

Consider All of the Cultural Groups a High School Student Might Belong To…

  • Racial/Ethnic
  • Religious
  • High School Sub Culture (e.g., athletes, skaters, surfers, band, arts)
  • Disability (e.g., Deaf Culture)
  • Youth Culture
H8 (H1-H9)
  • KPC
  • TAW
  • 53x
  • IMP
  • IHU
  • IFVB
  • FUCT

multiculturalism and intervention
Multiculturalism and Intervention

NASP’s Professional Conduct Manual Practice Guideline 5.4:

School psychologists incorporate their understanding of the influence of culture, background, and individual learning characteristics when designing and implementing interventions to achieve learning and behavioral outcomes.

Listen closely and learn …

“I’m not doing turtle, turtle will get you beat up!” ~ heard in the halls.

multiculturalism and assessment
Multiculturalism and Assessment

NASP’s Professional Conduct Manual General Principles C.1.b.:

School psychologists respect differences in age, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. They select and use appropriate assessment or treatment procedures, techniques, and strategies.

multiculturalism and assessment1
Multiculturalism and Assessment

Bio-Cultural Model of Assessment

wiscing alone isn t enough
WISCing alone isn’t enough…

“I bet you don’t know who T.I. is.” ~ a direct challenge to my cultural competence.

multicultural considerations in consultation
Multicultural Considerations in Consultation
  • Consultants are sensitive to cultural differences.
  • Consultants and consultees acquire knowledge about their clients’ cultural backgrounds.
  • Consultants are mindful of cultural differences in communication.
  • Cultural differences influence relationships between consultants and consultees.
  • Multicultural issues are addressed throughout every stage of the consultation process.
  • Consultants acknowledge how systemic issues impact the cultural context of consultation.

Lopez & Truesdell (2007) in the Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

cultural competence defined

Cultural competence is the integration and transformation of knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific standards, policies, practices, and attitudes used in appropriate cultural settings to increase the quality of services; thereby producing better outcomes.

Davis, K. (1997). Exploring the intersection between cultural competency and managed behavioral health care policy: Implications for state and county mental health agencies. Alexandria, VA: National Technical Assistance Center for State Mental Health Planning.

“Multiculturalism is about understanding ourselves and others who are different from us…at its core [it is] about people and relationships. And all relationships are about discovering our commonalities, our cultural differences, and our personal uniqueness.” (Reynolds, 2005, p. 111 as cited in Martines, 2008)

Carroll, D. W. (2009). Toward multicultural competence: A practical model for implementation in the schools. In J. M. Jones (Ed.), The Psychology of Multiculturalism in the Schools: A primer for practice, training, and research, (pp. 1-16). Bethesda, MD: NASP Publications.

Curtis, M. J., Lopez, A. D., Batsche, G. M., & Smith, J. C. (2006, March). School psychology 2005: A national perspective. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association of School Psychologists, Anaheim, CA.

Esquivel, G. B., Lopez, E. C., Nahari, S. (2007). Handbook of multicultural school psychology: An interdisciplinary perspective. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Jones, J. M. (2009). The psychology of multiculturalism in the schools: A primer for practice, training, and research. Bethesda, MD: NASP Publications.

Kearns, T., Ford, L., & Brown, K. (2002). Multicultural training in doctoral school psychology programs: In search of the model program (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED465930). Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina.


Laija-Rodriguez, W., & Restori, A. (2009). The history of cross-cultural school psychology in the United States. In C. Clauss-Ehlers (Ed), Encyclopedia of Cross-Cultural School Psychology, (pp. 3-20). New York: Springer.

Lopez. E. C., & Truesdell, L. (2007). Multicultural issues in instructional consultation for English language learning students. In G. B. Esquivel, E.C. Lopez, & S. Nahari (Eds), Handbook Of Multicultural School Psychology: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, (pp.71-98). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Martines, D. (2008). Multicultural school psychology competencies: A practical guide. Los Angeles: Sage.

Nahari, S., & Martines, D. (2008). Writing psychological and educational reports for culturally and linguistically diverse students. In D. Martines, Multicultural school psychology competencies: A practical guide, (pp. 249-276. Los Angeles: Sage.

Nastasi, B. K., Moore, R. B. & Varjas, K. M. (2004). School-based mental health services: Creating comprehensive and culturally specific programs.


National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) (2000). Professional Conduct Manual. Retrieved February 17, 2010 from

National Center for Educational Statistics. (2009). Condition of education 2009. Washington, DC: U. S. Department of Education.

Oakland, T. (2005). Commentary # 1: What is multicultural school psychology? In C. Frisby & C. R. Reynolds (Eds), Comprehensive Handbook of Multicultural School Psychology, (pp. 3-13). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Rhodes, R. L., Ochoa, S. H., & Ortiz, S. O. (2005). Assessing culturally and linguistically diverse students: A practical guide. New York: Guilford Press.

U.S. Census Bureau (2008, January). Educational attainment of the population 18 years and over, by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin: 2007. Retrieved September 19, 2008 from


Zhou, Z., Bray, M. A., Kehle, T. J., Theodore, L. A., Clark, E., & Jenson, W. R. (2004). Achieving ethnic parity in school psychology. Psychology in the Schools, 41, 443-450.