The third line of defense comprises still more specialized personnel, such as the psychologist, school social worker and psychologist. While some programmes include only incidental counseling by classroom teachers, others embrace a variety of specialized services offered by a large staff of counselors, psychologists, school social workers, and other specialists.

The school psychologists or counselor who is trained in psychology is more concerned with the developmental than with the remedial aspects of the programme. His most important function is to help teachers provide learning experiences that will enable children of different abilities and backgrounds to accomplish appropriate tasks with reasonable effort.

At the same time he should be conducting research which will increase his information about how children learn. If he has special preparation in the psychology of teaching reading or in some other basic skill, teachers will welcome his help with their problems in this area.

The psychologist should use child study groups, conferences, and case conferences as important tools in the in-service education of teachers and administrators. In fact, he should combine in-service education and research with his service to individual pupils and parents.


Most effective arc the personal contacts with the psychologist that (he teacher experiences when she works with him on a case she has referred. After the psychologist has studied the student, he talks with the teacher about his findings and then reports their joint decisions about treatment.

The psychologist works extensively with teachers to help them sharpen their skill in observing pupils. It has been noted that as teachers improve their ability to write more accurate and’ detailed descriptions of pupils’ behavior, their referrals become more helpful to the psychologists. He is handicapped by referrals that are sketchy or too general.

Through the testing programme, the psychologist may give the teacher specialized aid in understanding individual students and the class as a whole. With the teachers help, he often selects and administers, reports, and interprets, the results to the teachers. This helps each teacher to see what ranges of ability and achievement are represented in his class and to identify the student, his parents and his teachers.

For example, if a teacher has a boy in his class whose baffling behavior is apparently caused by some environmental influence and whose achievement is below his potential ability, he may refer the case to the school social worker. She will talk with the child, his parents, and the teacher and help each one to understand the dynamics of the situation and make his best contribution towards dealing with it.


The usual function of the psychiatrist is to help teachers with pupils who have complex emotional problems. His influence is most effective and far-reaching if he acts in a consulting capacity with counselors, teachers, administrators, and local school specialists.