A psyche-centred curriculum

9th May 1997 at 01:00
I hope that the Labour party is now prepared to make the necessary changes to our educational system. At the moment, teachers' and pupils' mental, physical and emotional health are being threatened by an assessment-driven system which takes no account of the human psyche.

Teachers feel a great responsibility for the achievements of their pupils. They therefore measure their success largely in terms of exam results. Pupils feel that their individual worth is evaluated in terms of GCSE results. This leads to poor self-esteem and neuroticism.

It is important that schools become therapeutic environments where balanced and holistic learning may be encouraged. Successful learning is predicated on establishing healthy teacher-pupil relationships. In this respect we have much to gain from humanistic therapeutic practices. These are based on an understanding of the human psyche, whereas our educational system is founded on notions of political expediency.

Like a therapist the teacher is a facilitator of change. Like a therapist, the teacher achieves change by working in a relationship with his or her client. Like a therapist, a teacher can encourage change.

Of course, a psyche-centred curriculum would be seen as a dangerous threat to our educational system. It is not in the interest of governments to have a well-balanced population. If this were the case, industry in its present form would grind to a halt. People would refuse to do mindless jobs for little or no reward. They would demand something better. As teachers, it is our duty to provide a holistichumanistic education which will bring about a healthier and happier society. We owe this to our future generations.

HAMISH WILSON 44 Ickleford Road Hitchin, Hertfordshire

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