Friday, January 13, 2006

Ed. Psychs

From the BBC Education site, news that the new graduate training programme will exacerbate a shortage of Education Psychologists in schools, since they will now need a three year Doctorate rather than an MA and there will be a gap of two years with no newly qualified psychs seeking employment.

We have to admit we aren't desperately concerned about this. Whilst we have bfs who are in the psychology profession who have the best possible ideas for enabling other people, others we have heard of in the educational arm of the profession are manipulative, conventional power-mongers who believe that children are akin to animals and respond best to positive reinforcement and other delightful behavioral maneuvers. This is not altogether surprising when one considers that the current training programme includes the intellectually laughable Post Grad. Cert. of Ed. (which comes in for a regular bashing on this site).

Perhaps the new Ed Psych course could include a new section on the clearly frequently novel idea that home education can work for many children who fail in schools.

11 comments:

Leo said...

But is there anything good about psychology at all?

Ron R said...

The dd of a friend of ours bailed from taking medicine because most of the people she encountered in her classes seemed to be there for the salary they were eventually going to make.

Carlotta said...

Leo,

I'm of the opinion that there are, in all likelihood, to be some very, very good ideas in there, as there are with most large bodies of knowledge. I take strongest issue with the claim that psychology is a science, and that (often on this basis) an authority figure may be prescriptively certain about what appears to them to be right for someone else.

Carlotta said...

Ron,

I can well believe it! I recall a BMJ article which compared the learning outcomes of med students who said and acted as if they were motivated by money and competition with others, and those who had a genuine interest in the subject, the third catagory being those who were just doing enough to scrape by.

Predictably the ones with the genuine interest in the subject made the best and most empathic doctors.

Leo said...

Carlotta,

"they were motivated by money and competition with others"

That's capitalism. Are you saying it doesn't work for everything?

I would be curious what very good ideas did you find in psychology.

Carlotta said...

"they were motivated by money and competition with others"

"That's capitalism. Are you saying it doesn't work for everything?"

Insofar as the ones who were deemed the best med students were the ones who were genuinely interested in their subject, capitalism could be about rewarding those who are most genuinely interested in their subject, since it may well be widely appreciated that this entails real value.

Carlotta said...

Leo,

As regards the selection of good ideas in the body of knowledge called psychology, there are simply hundreds of treatment options and the question should be "what will work best for someone who is suffering from a set of poor or troubling ideas?"

So, for example, exposure and ritual prevention works incredibly well for obsessive compulsive disorder...can't remember precise numbers, but something like over 80% of people whose lives can be severely curtailed by this, do get better with this line of treatment.

But as a rule, cognitive behaviour therapy appeals, insofar as it seems to deal with problems of thought on the basis of tackling the content of thought...ie: it seems to be taking the problem seriously and for what it really is.

Leo said...

Carlotta,

"what will work best for someone who is suffering from a set of poor or troubling ideas?"

This is so selective and elitist, don't you realise it? :(

Who is anyone to decide someone's ideas are poor and need treatment?

I advise you search around for anti-psychotherapy groups and see what's really behind it and the damage it has been doing to people.

Carlotta said...

Hi Leo,

"C: what will work best for someone who is suffering from a set of poor or troubling ideas?

L: This is so selective and elitist, don't you realise it? :(
Who is anyone to decide someone's ideas are poor and need treatment?"

Lol...you clearly think mine a poor idea, possibly in need of your treatment! Does this view mean your idea is selective and elitist?

Just to clarify: I did not say that I believed people should be forced into treatment (unless they really do pose a danger to others), but that psychiatry, for example, is just but one of a range of options from which they may freely choose and which can work.

(I think that very often, the atheist community has forgotten that they must address the deep questions of existence and have not developed the skills of how to comfort and nurture themselves emotionally...more on which later...)

Leo said...

I think you haven't understood what I have meant. Mental sanity is an elitist definition. Those that fit in current society and its goals are sane, those that don't are not.

"unless they really do pose a danger to others"

This really means: "unless the autonomy of others is deemed more valuable for the authorities of that society than their own autonomy".

Carlotta said...

L: "Mental sanity is an elitist definition. Those that fit in current society and its goals are sane, those that don't are not".


I don't think I mentioned the idea of mental sanity at all though. What I did mean to denote is the idea that people can be made unwillingly very unhappy by the maps they have created and that they would far rather they had another map that suited them rather better.

I would agree that it is possible for psychiatry to abuse it's power and to manipulate others into seeing the world in the prescribed way, and I would certainly not condone this, but if voluntarily accessed and not disempowering, it can help to shift some people's ideas in a constructive and non-coercive way.

C: "unless they really do pose a danger to others"

L: "This really means: "unless the autonomy of others is deemed more valuable for the authorities of that society than their own autonomy"."

No. It simply means that if someone seriously impinges upon the autonomy of another, say with a physical assault, that they would rightfully lose their freedom, since to tolerate such action would make all autonomous action impossible.