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Tan, A. G., Lim, K. M., & Goh, M. (1999). Teachers’ perspectives on the roles of psychologists. In S. P. Loo (Ed.), Proceeds of the MERA-ERA Joint conference 1999: Educational Challenges in the New Millennium (pp. 907-916). Malacca, Malaysia.
The status of any given discipline, be it professional status or impact on society, is
related to the occupational opportunities and the roles of the professionals in the community.
The roles of the professionals of the discipline therefore can directly or indirectly determine the
social perception of the discipline. As such, social perception, referring to how people of a
given society receive and value a situation, behaviour, state of mind, or profession is a critical
focus in this study because it helps us better understand the relationship between contributions
of a discipline to the welfare of the society and the values that a society attaches to the
contributions of that discipline. The discipline of study in this paper is psychology and how it is
perceived in a newly industrialised country. In this paper, 121 teachers’ perceptions of the
psychologists’ occupational roles are examined. Teachers perceived psychologists to be
professionals working with counselling cum helping services, higher education and research
institutions and business cum social sector. Implications of the study for the role of psychology
in teacher education are discussed.
This paper was published in the 1999 Proceedings of the MERA-ERA Joint Conference held at Malacca, Malaysia from 1-3 December 1999
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