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Practical psychologist in kindergarten
The introduction of a practical psychologist in educational institutions began in 1988, when the rate of "psychologist" was introduced in educational institutions. The main goal of both a child psychologist working in kindergarten and the psychological education service as a whole is to ensure the psychological health of children. Psychological health involves mental health, which is based on the full mental development of the child at all stages of childhood. In accordance with the goal, the children's practical psychologist performs the following tasks:
1. implements in the work with children the development opportunities of each age,
2. Develops individual characteristics of the child, i.e. the attention of a specialist should attract interests, abilities, inclinations, feelings, hobbies, relationships of the child, etc.
The psychologist is required to create a favorable climate for the development of the child in the kindergarten, and it is also necessary to provide timely psychological assistance to both children and their parents and educators.
The main activities of a child psychologist are: psychological education, psychological prevention, psychological counseling, psychological diagnostics, psychological correction.
Under the psychological education refers to the inclusion of adults (educators, parents) and children in psychological knowledge. Psychological knowledge is not widespread in society, the psychological culture is not always expressed, suggesting interest in another person, respect for the characteristics of his personality, ability and desire to understand his own relationships, experiences, actions. In pedagogical groups, as well as families, conflicts are possible, which are based on the psychological deafness of adults, inability and unwillingness to listen to each other, understand, forgive, give way, etc. Therefore, it is important for a practical psychologist to increase the level of psychological culture of those people who work with children. The main purpose of psychological education is to acquaint educators, parents with the basic laws and conditions of a child’s favorable mental development, to popularize and explain the results of psychological research, to form a need for psychological knowledge and a desire to use it in working with a child or in the interests of developing one’s own personality, and also to understand the need for practical psychology and the work of a psychologist in kindergarten and other educational institutions. Psychological education can take place in the form of lectures, discussions, seminars.
Psychological prophylaxis is a currently underdeveloped type of activity of a child practical psychologist. It is aimed at preserving, strengthening and developing the psychological health of children at all stages of preschool childhood. Unfortunately, this aspect of the activity of a practical psychologist is not developed yet. But this does not diminish her role. Psychological prevention involves responsibility for observing in kindergarten (and other kindergartens) the psychological conditions necessary for the full psychological development and formation of the child’s personality at each age stage. Also, psychological prevention involves the timely identification of such features of the child that can lead to certain difficulties, deviations in intellectual and emotional development, in his behavior and relationships.
The main difficulty that a psychologist may encounter is a lack of understanding by the teaching staff and parents of the importance of psychological prevention. This misunderstanding can be explained by the fact that there are many problems with individual children and groups that need to be urgently addressed and therefore educators and parents may not think about what might happen in the future.
The psychologist should try to predict the possibility of problems and work towards their prevention. In psychoprophylaxis, the initiative entirely comes from the psychologist, in this his creativity as a specialist is manifested. The psychologist develops and implements developmental programs for children of different ages, taking into account the characteristics of each age stage.
He also reveals such psychological characteristics of the child that may subsequently lead to the emergence of certain difficulties or deviations in his intellectual and personal development. A practical psychologist should monitor compliance with the conditions necessary for normal mental development and formation of the personality of children at each age stage in a kindergarten, as well as prevent possible complications in the mental development and personality formation of children in connection with their transition to the next age level.
Advisory work in kindergarten has a fundamental difference from that carried out by a psychologist in district or other consultations. The specificity of such counseling is that it focuses on solving professional problems. In the counseling process, only what is relevant to the solution of the main task of the psychological education service is considered - to maximally contribute to the mental, personal development of each child.
Heads of kindergartens, teachers, parents and other people receive advice insofar as they relate to the child. Their problems are considered only in connection with the problems of children, and not by themselves. Educators often turn to a psychologist on the following issues: the causes of difficulties in children's learning of training programs (preparation for school), the reluctance and inability of children to study, emotional, personality disorders, conflict relationships with other children.
Parents often deal with problems: how to prepare children for school, lack of expressed interests in children, poor memory, disorganization, lack of independence, aggressiveness, increased irritability or timidity, fearfulness; in other words, this refers to everything that is customarily denoted by the words “difficult child”.
The duties of a child psychologist also include identifying the characteristics of the child’s mental development, the formation of certain psychological neoplasms, and the compliance of the child’s development level with age standards. Therefore, in the activity of a practical psychologist, diagnostics occupies a significant place.
The task of psychodiagnostics is to provide information on the individual psychological characteristics of children, which would be useful to themselves, as well as to educators and parents.
Every practical psychologist in the education system has dual subordination. On the administrative line, he is subordinate to the head of the kindergarten, on a professional - psychological center, where psychologists work.
Psychologists of the Center not only control the activities of the psychologist in kindergarten, but also provide him with methodological, organizational assistance. In fact, unfortunately, sometimes this does not happen, and the psychologist is actually left to his own devices. He has a free work schedule, he draws up his own work plan, correlating it with the work plan of the educators.
The psychologist’s working day lasts 6 hours and can, for example, alternate every other day - work from 8:00 to 14:00 or from 13:00 to 19:00. The psychologist conducts both group and individual classes and consultations. This can be work with a preparatory group of a kindergarten, or a group of younger children. As experienced psychologists note, a novice specialist should not immediately take up all possible areas of work, it is better to start with problem children, situations, with a problem that is better mastered by a psychologist, where he is more competent, gradually increasing his methodological arsenal. A psychologist in a kindergarten must have his own office, this is an important condition for organizing a psychological service.
A successfully working child psychologist is distinguished by such professional qualities as: the desire to know himself and others, the breadth of interests and independence of opinion, the ability to attract people emotionally, an increased sense of responsibility for his words and actions, and the awareness of the limits of his competence.
The work of a psychologist in kindergarten requires the qualification of a specialist with a higher psychological education, specializing in the field of developmental psychology, educational psychology, and clinical psychology.
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Practical psychologist in kindergarten
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