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date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues for a core curriculum in the training of professional psychologists. There are four overlapping approaches to the discussion. First, there is the general argument for a core curriculum in education that goes back far beyond the beginning of professional psychology. Second, there are the arguments for “common” and “essential” elements of professional curricula, drawn from medicine and law (see Peterson, Vincent, & Fechter-Leggett, 2011). Third and fourth, within psychology there are two intellectual lines of development of the core curriculum. The third is the set of arguments for a core that has evolved into the competencies movement (e.g. Fouad et al. 2009; Peterson et al., 1992). The fourth, which like the third continues to this date, is referred to by psychology accreditation (by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association) as broad and general education. This is followed by a review of key psychology licensure and accreditation issues. An argument that the core curriculum should provide a fundamental background for professional practice is developed. A detailed example is presented. Finally the importance of context as an addition to the core is put forward.

Keywords: core, curriculum, education, professional, psychology

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