Training in community psychology: pedagogical contributions towards civic participation

José Ornelas Maria Vargas-Moniz About the authors

With this paper we aim to document how advanced academic training may contribute towards the students' civic engagement, and to generate renovated social and community leadership in diverse social contexts. We described The development of teaching Community Psychology as a special domain within Psychological Sciences, and as an autonomous curriculum, including the debate about scientific and professional competencies in that scientific-pedagogical field. The results presented derive from a survey on social and professional competencies on Community Psychology to current students of the Master's and Doctoral Programs, which, together with the results of a SWOT Analysis, formed the basis for the curriculum evaluation by the Portuguese National Agency for Evaluation and Validation of Higher Education (http://www.a3es.pt/pt). The results indicate that the graduate students have chosen diversified civic causes in their professional careers, and they use the competencies acquired during their training in their professional affairs. The qualitative data of the SWOT Analysis emphasizes that the students consider relevant the freedom of choice during the training, and the opportunity of contact and participation within diverse social realities, that facilitate the understanding of the practical application of principles, as well as the role of research anchored in assumptions of relevance and utility for the development of individuals, groups or communities.

Community Psychology; training; Civic Participation


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