Editorial

Cite as:
Williams, A. R. (2020). Editorial: The Whiteness of educational psychology: Colonialism, post-colonialism and racialisation in the theory, training and practice of educational psychology. Educational psychology research and practice6  (1), 1-8. 

Dr Antony Williams
School of Education, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England

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Articles

Navigating Blackness In Educational Psychology: Reflections Of A Trainee Educational Psychologist

Abstract

The voices of racialised individuals in educational psychology are suppressed in the United Kingdom (UK). The experiences of educational psychologists (EPs) from under-represented groups can make a valuable contribution to the assemblage of voices in the profession. This article is a provocation of educational psychology, with the ambition of evoking various feelings for the audience. I take the reader on a personal journey of reconstructing educational psychology through the lens of psychopolitics, critical race theory and postcolonial theory. These theories draw on the structural and psychological effects of colonialism to interrogate present ways of living. Firstly, I draw on my experiences of estrangement whilst completing the educational psychology training course. This consequently led to feeling isolated in navigating my relationship with educational psychology. I call for course tutors to support trainee educational psychologists (TEPs) through the sense-making process of racialisation, which can be an embodied experience and often unspoken. Secondly, I draw on the histories of educational psychology, particularly scientific racism to consider the ongoing "hauntings" of colonialism in practice, which may contribute to some of the feelings of displacement. I invite EPs on this journey with me, to consider their positioning in relation to colonialism and psychology. The implications for educational psychology are considered, including the need to resurrect the relationship between educational psychology and racialisation. I conclude by embracing the term "conscientization", as a way of mobilising change in the profession. This article is a reflective piece, mindfully written, using less-typical academic journal styles to make it accessible and avoid marginalising others.

Cite as:

Wright, R. (2020). Navigating Blackness in educational psychology: Reflections of a trainee educational psychologist. Educational psychology research and practice6  (1), 1-9. 

Dr Rebecca Wright
Catalyst Psychology, Manchester, England

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Visual Art: A Tool For Facilitation Of Cultural Competence and Antiracism When Training Helping Professionals

Abstract

The concept of cultural competence is widely referred to within the helping professions, alongside issues of social and racial identity and the determinants of life outcomes. This article presents a personal account of the experiences of a Black, British, educational psychologist practitioner. From this vantage point, the concept of cultural competence is described drawing on the sense made within the literature. Visual artworks, grounded within the conceptual art movement, are presented as a tool for cultural competence pedagogy, and a psychological interpretation of the works is presented for reflection on issues of race, racism and racial identity. These novel tools are presented with the aim of contributing to the growing body of knowledge and to support a reconceptualisation of the responsibilities of helping professionals' culturally competent practice. The article concludes with an invitation to colleagues to discuss and collaborate, using the tools presented.

Cite as:

Kusi, J. (2020). Visual art: A tool for facilitation of cultural competence and antiracism when training helping professionals. Educational psychology research and practice6  (1), 1-9. 

Dr Judith Kusi
London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London, England

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Narratives Of High-Attaining African Caribbean Boys: Perceptions Of Peer And Family Influences In Education

Abstract

The underachievement of African Caribbean boys has been the subject of considerable debate and research in education, but few studies focus on this group's achievements. Difficulties associated with racial identity and masculinity are amongst explanations offered for African Caribbean boys' educational underachievement, and research has also implicated the peer group's contributions to undermining academic performance.

This study explored the subjective experiences of seven high-attaining African Caribbean boys, aged 14 to 15 from one secondary school, regarding their perceptions of peer influences in school. Participants were given two narrative interviews, two months apart, about their relationships with peers and experiences related to "peer influence" and the impact they consider that this has on their education and attainment. Interviews also addressed the impact of family narratives on the boys at school. The interviews were analysed using Gee's (1991) structural linguistic narrative approach, which as well as helping to identify narratives also allowed analysis of how the boys performed their identities in co-constructing their narratives with the interviewer.

The findings suggest that the boys perceived peers to have some influence on their educational experiences and subsequent attainment, though family influences were stronger on the boys' educational values. Narratives espoused the positive aspects of peer relationships as being emotionally and practically supportive and helping boys' motivation to study through competing for high grades. Pupils used multiple and complex strategies to manage their relationships so that they continued to attain well. These included strategic self-presentation, deploying resources and utilising support from teachers and family members. Family racialised narratives were found to play an important role in developing racial identity and academic orientation. Implications for educational psychology practice and pedagogy in schools are discussed.

Cite as:

Robinson, T. (2020). Narratives of high-attaining African Caribbean boys: Perceptions of peer and family influences in education. Educational psychology research and practice6  (2), 1-11. 

Dr Tracy Robinson
London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London, England

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Preparing To Be An Ethically Minded Educational Psychologist: Examining Conceptualisations Of Social Justice And A Reflexive Exploration Of Values

This paper originated as an essay written to partially fulfil the requirements of a Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology. Trainee Educational Psychologists were invited to consider the ethical questions that arise from following the moral principles that underpin the practice of educational psychologists, namely social justice, beneficence and autonomy. The TEP chose to focus on social justice. This was explored by drawing on three theories or principles: Utilitarianism, Rawlsian Redistribution and Communitarianism. These were considered within the context of the diverse communities educational psychologists work with. Vignettes from personal and professional experiences were offered and used by the TEP to explore the sources of her values and to consider how her identity and values influence her work. This reflexive exercise is undertaken in the first term and in the first year of the TEP's training, in preparation for her becoming the ethically minded psychologist she intends to be.

Cite as:

Mahdi, S. (2020). Preparing to be an ethically minded educational psychologist: Examining conceptualisations of social justice and a reflexive exploration of values. Educational psychology research and practice6  (1), 1-7. 

Shahinaz Mahdi
University of East London, London, England

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Black Voices Matter: Racial Trauma, Challenging Systemic Oppression and Shifting The Narrative

Abstract

As educational psychologists (EPs), we are driven by improving outcomes and opportunities for children and young people. The resurgence of the "Black Lives Matter" movement prompted us to reflect on issues relating to the impact of systemic racism in the UK, experiences of EPs from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and the role of the EP in challenging the dominant narrative.

This paper will discuss the current social climate, specifically anti-Black racism and how this may lead to experiences of racial trauma among Black people. We will also discuss institutional racism in systems including education and its link to the school to prison pipeline. Professional and personal reflections will be shared, as well as thoughts about working in a predominantly White profession. Throughout this piece, the authors will be keeping in mind the lived experience of children and reflecting on how the issues discussed, can relate to EP practice.

Cite as:

Agyeman, D., & Lichwa, H. (2020). Black voices matter: Racial trauma, challenging systemic oppression and shifting the narrative. Educational psychology research and practice6  (1), 1-8. 

Dr Dannika Agyeman
London Borough of Waltham Forest, London, England

Dr Hannah Lichwa
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, London, England

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Power & Racialisation: Exploring Childhood & Educational Experiences of 4 Mixed Young People (Who Identify As Having One Black And One White Parent)

Abstract

This Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis study aims to explore the experiences and understandings of childhood and education of four young people who identify as having a mixed Black and White heritage. The research utilises the theoretical positions of Critical Race Theory and recognises intersectionality. Participants took part in semi-structured interviews, and analysis led to the proposal of a series of "higher-order" superordinate themes across participants. These themes included "The significance of culture/heritage", "Mixedness as challenging constructions", "The significance of intersectionality", "Blackness as problematic", "Mixedness as an identity",  "Racialised perceptions in the development of self-identity" and "The power of Educational Experience".  Implications for practice are explored through Reflecting on Educational Psychology Practice and considering how educational psychology practice might develop through these accounts with reference to specific cultural and ethnic competencies in the British Psychological Society "Standards for the accreditation of Educational Psychology Training" (British Psychological Society, 2019).

Cite as:

Mclean, A., & Williams, A. R. (2020). Power and racialisation: Exploring the childhood and educational experiences of four Mixed young people (who identify as having one Black and one White parent). Educational psychology research and practice6  (1), 1-11. 

Dr Aisha Mclean
Sheffield Educational Psychology Service, Sheffield, England

Dr Antony Williams
School of Education, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England

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Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at the University Of East London: Position Statement on Anti-racism and Decolonisation

Cite as:

Programme Team of the Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology, University of East London (2020). Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at the University of East London: Position statement on anti-racism and decolonisation. Educational psychology research and practice6  (1), 1-7. 

Programme Team of the Professional Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology
University of East London, London, England

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