Psychology in its Place


Radford, J. 2008. Psychology in its Place. Psychology Teaching Review. 14 (1), pp. 38-50.
AuthorsRadford, J.

In 1996 Graham Richards published Putting Psychology in its Place: An introduction from a critical historical perspective. Here, I seek to consider what is or should be the ‘place’ of Psychology in education, more particularly Higher Education, and not just from a historical perspective. This raises issues about several contexts in which Psychology finds itself. In the Higher Education context itself, Psychology continues to be in demand. But what is offered in first degrees is largely dictated by the requirements of the Graduate Basis for Registration of the British Psychological Society (BPS). These have been criticized both as not ideal as professional preparation, and as being unsuited to the large majority of students who will not enter the restricted psychological professions. Little attention is paid to more general educational aims. In the context of other disciplines, Psychology (with some exceptions) largely fails to draw on other sources of knowledge about human behaviour, such as History and Anthropology, although there is increasing awareness of the importance of non-Western cultures. In a personal context, standard Psychology degrees include little on personal values and beliefs, or such approaches as Community, Transpersonal, or Positive Psychology. It is suggested that Psychology could and should be of greater value to both intending professionals and others, and ideally should be a component of the education of most if not all students. This is ultimately because the major problems the human race faces are almost all matters of human behaviour, and understanding this is vital to their solution.

KeywordsPsychology in education; Higher Education; Psychology degrees
JournalPsychology Teaching Review
Journal citation14 (1), pp. 38-50
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Deposited09 Jul 2010
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Radford, J. (2008) ‘Psychology in its Place’ Psychology Teaching Review, 14(1), 38-50.

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