In the Shadow of the Desire for Orderliness: the Invisible Work of Psychologists to Resolve School Difficulties



The article presents the results of a study of the activities of educational psychologists working in Danish schools. The discovery is that the most valuable part of the work of school psychologists is done “in between times” and “in the corridor” — in the interval between scheduled meetings, testing and other tasks “according to job descriptions”. The researchers describe the specific types of psychologists' work in difficult school situations, the conditions of their professional activities and the di-lemmas that arise when solving professional problems. The authors note that creative, research and context-oriented work aimed at organizing cooperation between various parties is in conflict with the standardized work schedule, which occupies the bulk of the psychologist's working time, while real solutions to complex problems lie in informal communication, cooperation, studying social conditions and analyzing school problems. Choosing between what should and what is needed, the psychologist finds himself in a situation of professionally significant choice and in a conflict situation with him-self, which leads to the need to constantly clarify his own situation and the conditions of his work.

General Information

Keywords: activity of a school psychologist, cooperation, social conditions, social practice, school difficulties, conflicts, “corridor work”, “work between tasks”.

Journal rubric: Axiological and Personality-Oriented Basis of Cooperation and Interaction of Educational Environment Subjects

Article type: scientific article


Received: 10.08.2021


For citation: Røn Larsen M., Højholt C. In the Shadow of the Desire for Orderliness: the Invisible Work of Psychologists to Resolve School Difficulties [Elektronnyi resurs]. Vestnik prakticheskoi psikhologii obrazovaniya = Bulletin of Psychological Practice in Education, 2021. Vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 30–44. DOI: 10.17759/bppe.2021180403. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Maja Røn Larsen, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department “People and Technology”, Roskilde University, Denmark, ORCID:, e-mail:

Charlotte Højholt, PhD in Psychology, Professor, Department “People and Technology”, Roskilde University, Denmark, ORCID:, e-mail:



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