RadPsyNet logo

Table 3

Guidelines for
Critical Psychology Practice
in School Settings

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: With students, staff, teachers, and parents, develop a vision and values for each school and the school board that attends to personal, relational and collective wellness. Critique traditional values of individualism, competition, power hierarchies, and unjust allocation of resources. Supportive relationships and structures enable students, staff, teachers, staff, and parents to feel good about themselves, their relationships, and their school.

Process: Ask students, staff, teachers, and parents what they require to meet their own personal and relational needs and what they can do to help others within the organization to meet their own individual and collective needs. This process acknowledges that all members of a school community have personal needs and are expected to contribute to the collective wellness at the same time.


Content: Assume that many problems that students experience are structural in nature and will require structural solutions. Also, assume that past practices and tradition are a major obstacle to overcome in innovation and change emphasizing structural solutions based on an alternative value system.

Process: Work with students, staff, teachers, and parents to reframe problems, emphasizing students and families in their larger social and political context. Develop mutual support strategies to assist in making this personal paradigm shift to emphasize risk-taking, active participation, and collaboration among stakeholder groups.


Content: Shift from reactive, individualistic practices which focus on diagnosis and labelling of students and “treating” their deficits towards preventive and health promotion activities, school change, community development, and social change.

Process: Work in a highly participatory and collaborative manner with students, staff, teachers, and parents to implement new practices in schools and the community. The importance of policies and structures to support this innovation cannot be over emphasized.


Return to Applying Critical Psychology in Diverse Settings

Home Page NoticesDocumentsLinksArchivesBooksTeaching Materials Administration Applying Critical Psychology Radical Psychology Journal

 Up to top

Updated 30 September 2007 - Contacts
RadPsyNet: http://www.radpsynet.org