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Application of Psychology Practitioner-Scholar Model

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 1006 words Published: 18th May 2020

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In McClintock’s scholar-practitioner model, the professional is not only driven by their own personal values and ethics, but also through professional excellence formed through experiential theory knowledge and research.  The professional strives to meet high ideas set forth not only by themselves but from the academic community in their own field.  The scholar-practitioner strives to meet the expectations of their own colleagues and their clients while critically assessing their own work within their professional community.  Accredited schooling is essential for the scholar-practitioner in the form of didactic learning or learning grounded in theory.  To be a scholar-practitioner means to be a lifelong learner who draws upon multiple sources to reach an academic goal based on insight.

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Capella’s learning models are divided into the reflective practitioner (baccalaureate level), practitioner-scholar (master’s level), and scholar-practitioner (doctoral level).  Capella University’s model introduces the practitioner-scholar model to distinguish between master’s level and doctoral level discussion.  Capella’s practitioner-scholars develop strategies to resolve problems, while scholar-practitioners acquire research from scholarly texts, apply appropriate theory and strategies to problems, and share results in publication. 

Practitioner-scholars first obtain and summarize information before evaluating content for new strategies.  They then apply these strategies to a problem or situation and determine how success will be measured.  Scholar-practitioners engage in research on a subject area, process that research to determine areas that need additional information or clarification, create new inquiry questions, and conduct research that answers those questions.

McClintock’s model supports Capella University’s learning model in that the professional in both models is driven by knowledge gained through experiential research.  The professional seeks to meet high standards in the academic community through critical assessment and lifelong learning.

Within the field of psychology, a practitioner-scholar would obtain information on a subject or problem dealing with the human mind and assess that information to find strategies addressing that subject or problem.  For instance, the scholar-practitioner might select a subject relating to trauma and possible effects of later drug abuse.  The professional would research the subject to find areas that need further information, such as trauma and drug abuse in the elderly.  He or she then might create a new inquiry question relating to this subject and conduct research addressing the inquiry.  Success might be measured on a possible side effect of drug abuse with elderly clients who faced trauma early in their life, such as childhood trauma.

Being a practitioner-scholar will aid me to become a wise consumer of psychology research and theory in that I can better understand the role of research in psychology.  Research in this role is meant to address gaps in scholarly knowledge or investigate subjects that require a deeper understanding.  A possible example of being a wise consumer and the role of the practitioner-scholar is assessing the role trauma plays in our human emotions.  As a practitioner-scholar, I would turn to the scholarly texts to investigate the question and assess information relating to our emotions and how trauma might affect this.  I would then assess the information contained in these texts to develop a research question such as an adult’s ability to regulate emotions if they have experienced trauma.  Success would be judged through a measurable outcome.

My career vision as a psychology practitioner-scholar is to assess mentally ill individuals in legal proceedings and aid law enforcement, public and private clinical practices, etc. in matters relating to mentally ill clients and/or patients and their problems within the judicial system.  I would work in my own private practice as a professional in the field of forensic psychology.  An area I would like to specialize in is the role of trauma in criminology.

My SMART goals are to earn my master’s degree in clinical psychology specializing in forensic psychology, becoming admitted into a doctorate program in forensic psychology, and assessing mentally-ill clients in the courts based on measurable outcomes from evidence-based research.

The practitioner-scholar model strengthened and clarified my career vision and SMART goals because it made me aware of the role of continual ongoing psychological research while advancing in the field of psychology.  Whether I am a practitioner in the field or a master’s degree student, I will always use research and theory grounded in academic publication.

In conclusion, the model of a practitioner-scholar will apply to my own studies as a graduate learner in psychology because the model will help me become aware of my own role in psychological research.  I am to use research to devise strategies in addressing a problem and implementing these strategies in some measurable effect.  This master’s program will guide me in investigating various subjects in clinical and forensic psychology.  To be successful, I must use scholarly texts to guide my learning and form possible inquiry questions as the need exists in my course assignments and beyond.


  • Capella University. (2003). Learning model quick reference and examples. Minneapolis, MN: Author.
  • McClintock, C. (2004). Scholar practitioner model. In A. DiStefano, K. E. Rudestam, & R. J. Silverman (Eds.), Encyclopedia of distributed learning (pp. 394–397). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.


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