Overcoming Disaster Through Critical Consciousness and Ideological Change

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In this commentary, I argue that the systemic inequities driving and resulting from the wide-ranging immediate and long-term effects of COVID-19 are the key issue around which our field should rally as we reconceptualize school psychology in the 21st century. I offer this commentary as complementary to the growing body of scholarship describing reforms and practices to address the current and long-term challenges of COVID-19, as well as to broader calls to address systemic racism wherein critical consciousness and interrogation of the roles of systematic racism in the field are prerequisite to action and sustained practice change. I first enumerate the multisystem, intersectional complexities of the COVID-19 disaster, synthesizing scholarship on how it has been particularly detrimental to minoritized communities and students, as a basis for fostering critical awareness. I then propose three core ideological shifts as the basis for expansive reflection and re-envisioning across all areas of professional activity. I conclude with implications for graduate educators and scholars to support fieldwide transformation as the field endeavors to rise to the challenge of this historic unfolding and advance social justice and antiracism. Impact Statement COVID-19 as more than a matter of health or disparities thereof—indeed, it is a disaster—because of the consequences across all domains of life and social systems. School psychology’s short and long-term responses to COVID-19 and advancing social justice and antiracism should be grounded in ideological shifts foundational to lasting change in rhetoric and other practices. These include centering the most marginalized, uprooting white supremacy in our field, and conceptualizing trauma and associated professional responses intersectionally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSchool Psychology Review
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 National Association of School Psychologists.


  • COVID-19
  • health disparities
  • pandemic
  • professional issues
  • Shane Jimerson
  • social justice


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