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ERIC Number: EJ876495
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0965-948X
Teaching Psychology: The Political Context
Newland, John
Psychology Teaching Review, v14 n2 p38-39 2008
In this commentary, the author raises two critical aspects not adequately addressed in John Radford's (2008) wide ranging article on the teaching of psychology in higher education. The first aspect is the relevance of boundaries. The second aspect is the political context(s). These two issues, though artificially dissociated for current purposes, are inextricably linked. This commentary argues that the Graduate Basis of Registration (GBR) is not "the professional tail" that is "wagging the teaching subject dog", but a consistent stance in order to maintain standards within the teaching of psychology. Radford (2008) disputes that a distinction can be drawn between a discipline and a profession in that the former does not have boundaries whereas the latter does. A counter argument is that disciplines do have boundaries even if such boundaries are artificially erected by university governing bodies. Radford provides a timely opportunity to rehearse some of the relatively under discussed issues of what constitutes psychology as an academic discipline. These issues are often perceived as fundamentally unfathomable and perceived as debate topics rather than of substantive enquiry. The author stresses that more systematic study of the political processes should be part of that enquiry.
British Psychological Society, Division for Teachers & Researchers in Psychology. St Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester, LE1 7DR, UK. Tel: +44-1162-529551; Fax: +44-1162-271314; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A