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(De)Constructing paradigms: Creating a psychology curriculum for conscientisation education
Australian Community Psychologist (2015)
  • Dawn Darlaston-Jones
Critical psychology challenges the traditional assumptions of mainstream psychology by
identifying the bases of power that maintain inequity and unjust social practices and
working towards transformational change. Psychology has the capacity to be at the
forefront of a social change agenda to remove the barriers that impede human
functioning; the vanguard of such a social change agenda should be the educational
settings in which psychology is taught and where psychologists are trained. To this end I
propose a curriculum framework embedded in critical theory and critical pedagogy that
allows the educational processes (pedagogy) and course content (knowledge) to be (de)
constructed and the hidden unspoken discourses to emerge. In addition, in the context of
Australia this includes a decolonisation agenda that analyses the ways in which power is
used to maintain subordination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the
ways in which education becomes a vehicle of contestation and substantive reconciliation.
To this end, I articulate the philosophical and theoretical concepts that I utilised during
my doctoral research and which have evolved over the past 10 years of teaching practice
and which is now embedded into the Bachelor of Behavioural Science at the University of
Notre Dame (Fremantle campus). Such an approach to psychology education has the
capacity to increase the diversity of students attracted to the discipline, improve student
satisfaction, contribute to the creation of a more inclusive society, as well as achieve the
relevance and potential that has been suggested is currently lacking in psychology.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Darlaston-Jones, D. (2015). (De)Constructing paradigms: Creating a psychology curriculum for conscientisation education. Australian Community Psychologist, 27(1), 38-48