Cooperative learning is a classic example of the interaction among theory, research, and practice. It is based on social interdependence theory, whose basic premise is that the way in which goals are structured determines how individuals interact which, in turn, creates outcomes. Over 750 research studies have been conducted in the past eleven decades on the relative merits of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic efforts and the conditions under which each is appropriate. These studies have validated, modified, refined, and extended the theory. Social interdependence theory has been widely applied, especially in education. The applications have resulted in revisions of the theory and the generation of considerable new research.
Certification of school psychologists in Japan started in 1997. Now there are about 3, 700 certified school sychologists in Japan. They work in kindergartens, elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, and special schools, as well as for local educational authorities and counseling centers. But these school psychologists work as teachers, school counselors, and other extra staff, not as school psychologists. Furthermore, school psychologists in Japan usually do not do developmental assessment of children. This situation is very different from that in other countries. The present report reviews school psychologists' work in some other countries and recommends changes in the job responsibilities of school psychologists in Japan. In the U. S. A., UK, and some other countries, school psychologists have much to do with the assessment of children with special educational needs. School psychologists in Japan also should have skills needed for the developmental assessment of students who may have special educational needs, in order to establish a firm status as psychologists.