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Table 8

Guidelines for
Critical Psychology Teaching/Education

Adapted from

Isaac Prilleltensky & Geoff Nelson
Doing Psychology Critically:
Making a Difference in Diverse Settings

Critical Psychology Tenets

Qualities of the Content and Process


Content: Explore with students the balance among values for personal, collective, and relational wellness in different social contexts, and what changes in value priorities need to take place in order for oppressed people to advance their interests. Subject prevalent social values to deconstructive analysis to determine whose interests they represent.

Process: Foster values of personal growth, sense of community, and relational principles by identifying these as explicit objectives of learning process and by developing collectively means of achieving a facilitative learning environment. Identify contradictions between students’ and instructors’ stated values and behaviours and create safe space to discuss them. Afford students opportunity to respectfully challenge their own personal values, dominant social values, and the values of critical psychology


.Content: Analyze historical and socially constructed nature of psychological concepts and discuss role of social power in according legitimacy to certain theories and not to others. Study the ties between concepts of gender, race, class, and ability in psychology and the voices they represent. Examine whose definitions are given legitimacy and whose are ignored. Explore how concepts might differ if they were defined by people in other cultures and subcultures.

Process: Foster process of conscientization through denunciation and annunciation. Consider how power differences in the classroom facilitate or inhibit personal expression and dissent. Afford students a voice in co determining with instructor aspects of course content and process of learning. Maintain equilibrium between process and outcomes.


Content: Study psychological phenomena from interdisciplinary point of view. Understand concept of cultural hegemony and forces inculcating social messages of conformity and acquiescence. Examine economic, social, cultural, anthropological dimensions of constructs like depression, normal development, adjustment, and antisocial personality.

Process: Develop with students solidarity and social action projects that put into practice the material covered in the classroom.


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