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  • Writer's pictureDr Shungu Hilda M’gadzah

Why am I not jumping up and down at the suggestion of an apology by some educational psychologists?

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

Call me cynical- I will apologise for this later…...

Oh well that makes it okay then “it's time to apologise”! But apologies are just empty words, they're meaningless unless they're coupled with real action. It's remarkable that not once within the article is my name mentioned despite the blogs and publications I have done in informing this discussion.

It just shows that those with privilege can have their papers published within the psychologist whilst those of us who don't have privilege are not able to. Indeed when I approached the editor of the Psychologist about publishing a paper on the Six Stages Framework his response was no as the view was the book was self published. The book was actually not self published! I challenged him on this and questioned if the true reason was because he considered the Six Stages Framework to be too radical for the Psychologist Digest.

And yet people like Dan and Adrianne are privileged enough to have their article published in the Psychologist within days of deciding that they wish to do so. Not mentioning my name just indicates the way black professionals are cast aside and their contributions erased or overlooked from the discussion.

I seem to remember this happening a lot within the educational psychologist profession when I was practising. Certain voices are silenced whilst others are amplified. That is power and privilege in action.

But still at least Dan tagged me into the post on twitter!!

Frankly, It feels as this attempt to offer an apology is merely an attempt to silence the uproar which is building up within society and within the profession in terms of the role of educational psychologists and the parts we play in systems that discriminate.

Still I guess we are doing something.

I guess when we look back educational psychologist will be able to shrug their shoulders and say yes but we apologised. Well but did your practice actually change? Only time will tell. Did the data you collect around exclusions within the education system and around educational psychologists in senior roles and the discrimination faced by these black educational psychologists-did that actually change? Did the way you treat Black children and Black educational Psychologists change?

The problem with privilege is that certain viewpoints are given top platform whilst others are not and when people look back and the future generation of educational psychologist looks back the narrative will seem to be one of leaders within our profession took the actions that were required-we offered an apology. Yes, but what does this actually mean?

My blogs and articles probably will not seen the light of day as I don't have the privilege to have these immortalised within the Psychologist journal.

Okay, I apologise- I guess I am getting tired of all the games our profession and educational psychologists play. We move from policies to position statements to apologies and then we think that makes it okay. I am tired of the ways in which we discriminate and how the racism which we are a part of can be covered up and how some think we can pre-empt further criticism of our profession by simply offering an apology.

Surely we can do better than that.

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