1st Edition

Investigating School Psychology Pseudoscience, Fringe Science, and Controversies

Edited By Michael I. Axelrod, Stephen Hupp Copyright 2024
    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    Investigating School Psychology provides a fascinating exploration of the field of school psychology through the lens of pseudoscience and fringe science. Contributions from leaders in the fields of school psychology, clinical psychology, and education honor the role of science in the field while also exploring and guarding against the harms that pseudoscience can cause.

    School psychology and, more broadly, the field of education are particularly susceptible to pseudoscience, fads, and maintaining the status quo by resisting the adoption of new ideas. Using an exhaustive review of the current literature, this book discusses various concepts in school psychology that have been largely discredited and many practices that continue to exist with little to no scientific support. Each chapter helps differentiate between dubious and evidence-based approaches while providing a useful resource for practicing school psychologists and educators to distinguish between science and pseudoscience in their everyday work with children. The book’s discussion of the harmful nature of pseudoscience in school psychology is inclusive of all students, such as students with disabilities, those diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders, those with academic problems, and all other children in schools.

    Investigating School Psychology is valuable supplemental reading in undergraduate and graduate courses in education and school psychology and is also a beneficial reference for practicing school psychologists to distinguish between science and pseudoscience in their practice.

    Bertha Vazquez

    Part I. Introduction

    1. School Psychology, Pseudoscience, and Self-Correction
    Michael I. Axelrod

    2. Historical Pseudoscience in Schools
    Scott Bellini, Parker S. Beckman, and Hanna S. Lim

    Part II. Systems-level Practices

    3. Zero Tolerance Policies
    Angela Fontanini-Axelrod

    4. Suicide Prevention and Intervention Practices
    Susan M. Swearer, Samantha Kesselring, and Emilea Rejman

    5. Prevention Programs for Risky Behaviors
    Marisa E. Marraccini, Lauren E. Delgaty, and Telieha J. Middleton

    Part III. Assessment

    6. Cognitive Assessment
    Matthew K. Burns and Jonie B. Welland

    7. Academic Assessment
    Jeremy Miciak, Ryan L. Famer, and Amanda M. VanDerHeyden

    8. Projective Drawing Techniques
    Nicholas F. Benson, Stefan C. Dombrowski, and Michael I. Axelrod

    Part IV. Instruction and Intervention

    9. Academic Instruction
    Chad E. L. Kinney, John C. Begeny, and Rahma M. Hida

    10. Academic Interventions
    Zachary C. LaBrot and Emily R. DeFouw

    11. Working Memory Training
    Sarah J. Conoyer, Kathrin E. Maki, and Jamie Haas

    Part V. Working with Specific Populations and Problems

    12. Neurodevelopmental Disorders
    Angela Capuano and Kim Killu

    13. Externalizing Behaviors
    Maddison Knott, Arianna Delgadillo, Sara Jordan, Lauren Erp, and Audrey Ambrosio

    14. Internalizing Problems
    Avalon S. Moore, Alixandra Wilens, and Brian A. Zaboski

    Postscript: School Psychology Practices with Strong Evidence
    Sarah Conoyer, Stephen Hupp, and Michael Axelrod


    Michael I. Axelrod, PhD, is the Director of the Human Development Center and a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA. He is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and Licensed Psychologist. His published books include Behavior Analysis for School Psychologist, School-Based Behavioral Intervention Case Studies: Effective Problem Solving for School Psychologists, and Reading Intervention Case Studies for School Psychologists.

    Stephen Hupp, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Professor of Psychology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), USA. In 2015, he won the Great Teacher Award from the SIUE Alumni Association. He is the editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, and he has published several books including Pseudoscience in Therapy and Great Myths of Child Development.

    “Most people make up their minds based on very limited information. Support for this assertion can be found in myriad surveys, polls, and descriptions of public opinion. School psychology is a domain where strongly held yet non scientifically supported opinions are rampant. The unfortunate result is the risk of harmful child practices. This book identifies several examples of practices and/or perspectives that masquerade as factual and sets the record straight with relevant scientific findings. Thus it is an ideal companion for texts used by professors teaching classes to students majoring in child psychology in general and school psychology in particular.”

    Patrick Friman, PhD, ABPP Vice President of Behavioral Health, Boys Town; Professor of Pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center, USA.

    "Investigating School Psychology: Pseudoscience, Fringe Science, and Controversies offers a comprehensive yet easily digestible summary of the research refuting the most common and harmful myths in school psychology and education. Axelrod and Hupp have brought together leading scholars in the field to create an informative resource for anyone invested in our schools and the well-being of children. The book should be required reading for all policy makers in education."

    Renee O. Hawkins, PhD, Director of the School of Human Services and Professor in the Ed.S. and Ph.D. School Psychology Programs at the University of Cincinnati, USA.