The practitioners-scholar approach is the model I plan to follow to pursue my long-term professional goals of working as a consultant. Understanding the distinction between scholar, practitioner, scholar-practitioner and practitioner-scholar all are instrumental in my ability to create a plan to becoming a practitioner-scholar. Focusing on the history of psychology, becoming an effective researcher and forming invaluable communication skills laid the groundwork for having a successful career as a practitioner-scholar. Although, I do not feel I am either a scholar practitioner or practitioner scholar yet, my course work at Capella University will prepare me for the journey.
Keywords: scholar, practitioner, practitioner-scholar, scholar-practitioner, research
Scholar-Practitioner Model versus Practitioner-Model and its Impact on My Professional Development
Reflecting on how I might become a practitioner-scholar, I realize the importance of understanding the distinction between scholar, practitioner, scholar-practitioner and practitioner-scholar, first. Scholars are wise master in their discipline, and distinguished leaders in their field. In the field of psychology, I view scholars primarily as one that works in the academic setting. Practitioners are professionals who work within the community or corporate setting. Practitioners work within a particular career, driven by the needs of their clients (Peterson, 2006). Scholar-practitioners and practitioner-scholars differ in how they view the application of knowledge acquired. According to Wasserman and Kram (2009), scholar-practitioners bonded by theory, seek to generate knowledge first as the way to apply knowledge to the world. Practitioners-scholars first guide themselves by the needs of the client, and then on the knowledge drawn from research-based theories to improve clients well being (Peterson, 2006). Wasserman and Kram (2009) view the concept scholar-practitioner and practitioner-scholar as a continuum. The continuum reflects the view that as psychologist we all hold the doctrine of studying the mind, its affects on behavior and ways through research and practice, we can improve humankind (Wasserman and Kram, 2009). Reflecting on the models, I realized neither describes where I am now. I currently view myself as a learner, a student with goals of becoming a successful practitioner-scholar. My success as a practitioner-scholar lies in acquiring knowledge of the history of psychology, becoming an analytical researcher and applying these skills to produce invaluable forms of communication. In order to become a successful practitioner-scholar, acquiring knowledge of the history of psychology is quintessential in my long-term plans to becoming a practitioner-scholar. The history of psychology in America and its role in the education setting and community at large dates back to after World War II (Peterson 2006). Intellectually gifted scientists who were brilliant researchers became the scholars of psychology. As scholars, they taught from a scientist, research perceptive. Therefore, when psychologists begin to leave the academic setting of universities and enter professional careers, they did so as science or scholar practitioners (Peterson 2006). According to Peterson (2006), education by scientists, training as scholars, with little to no professional preparation, sparked the great debate between the two models. The old saying, “you don’t know where you are going until you know where you’ve been”, holds true here. Embracing the foundation of psychology provides me with a greater sense of respect for those who oppose the practitioner-scholar model. However, embarking on a journey to refute the opposition is exciting, and becoming an analytical researcher along the way, will support my plan in becoming a distinguish leader in the...