Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Psychological Literacy

Originally posted on May 1, 2018

Twenty years ago as part of my teaching at the Senior University Georgetown I gave lectures on “Psychological Literacy.” It seemed to me that it’s time to push for psychology to be taught in school as a primary topic. I looked over the names of the theories and theoreticians, and so much may be remembered for academic purposes, to give credit where credit is due. But for an introduction, why clutter up students’ minds? It really doesn’t matter who came up with what! It’s like studying about electricity—it really doesn’t matter who gets the credit for inventing improvements in the light switch!

But I think that it would be good if most people could notice when they’re tempted to employ defense mechanisms, for example, because knowing what they are and do illuminates the devious ways mind tends to avoid any diminution in pride.

We could enjoy debating what is essential and needs to be taught and what is esoteric. The point is that we shouldn’t put off teaching about everyday psychology because of that difficulty. Education should be an open-ended process.

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