Lookup NU author(s): Dr Simon Gibbs
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by British Psychological Society, 2018.
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Aim In this paper I start with the premise that democratic education (as a service to the future) is under threat. For educational psychologists to consider where they might stand in relation to their professional future, therefore, I set out to provide indications of psychological factors implicated in answering the question ‘Can education in a troubled world help us become human and more inclusive?’Context In the current socio-economic and political climate and the increasing commercialisation of schools, educationalists can find it hard to sustain a positive role and purpose. As teachers’ identities and sense of efficacy are eroded, the recruitment of teachers is becoming increasingly problematic and attrition rates are rising. Simultaneously the rate of exclusion of young people from main stream education is not decreasing and several subgroups are over-represented amongst those excluded. I argue that this has major implications for educational psychologists.Method To provide a basis for a reformulation of psychologists’ work I examine the philosophical and psychological basis of the professional identity of teachers and the effects of misunderstanding and mistreating teachers' beliefs in themselves. This requires consideration of inter- and intra-personal dialogues and, particularly for psychologists in their work with teachers, the nature of relationships with others. Findings I argue that only by reaffirming teachers’ sense of creativity, autonomy and agency can education cease to be a mechanistic exercise in social engineering with no fixed goals and rediscover the simpler and more profound purpose of helping people to be human. I conclude that there are ways that educational psychologists might seek to change in order to challenge the dehumanisation of education.
Author(s): Gibbs S
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Educational and Child Psychology
Print publication date: 01/12/2018
Acceptance date: 02/04/2016
Date deposited: 10/12/2018
ISSN (electronic): 0267-1611
Publisher: British Psychological Society