Page 2, 14th July 1950

14th July 1950
Page 2
Page 2, 14th July 1950 — CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AND PSYCHOLOGY
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CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AND PSYCHOLOGY

SIR,-Miss Rorke knows that I made no sweeping accusation against Modern Psychology. I actually praised the help of Sound Psychology. I did ask, and still ask these questions :

1. Do most schools of Modern Psychology accept : (a) The existence of an Infinite, Personal God ?

(b) The Human Soul, as being immortal and spiritual. each a separate creation of God ? 2. What percentage of lasting reformations are we getting for our expenditure op Approved Schools ?

3. Is it not prejudice rather than science that betrays Miss Rorke into talking of " recourse to corporal punishment in preference to more civilised forms of punishment "?

Op June 2 Miss Rorke defined Psychology as the "Science of the Soul." How then can she say on June 30 that it is not concerned with Theology and Ethics ? In that very unconcerp lies the danger of conflict between Catholic teaching and some Schools of Psychology. Does an Economist say he is unconcerned with Politics ? Is an atheist's Psychology identical or eves similar to a Christian's ? I once asked another Educational Psychologist, at a nonsectarian teachers' meeting. to define the Psyche that he set out to study and treat. His answer was ap unexpected piece of intellectual agnosticism : " It is not the province of Psychology but of Philosophy to define the Psyche." I should hate to be operated on for • a pulmonary disease by a surgeon who could riot say what a lung was ! I note that Miss Rorke ignores the two quotations which seem to me to be antiCatholic in trend.

Miss Rorke denies that two of her criticisms of Catholic Schools were dogmatic, and adduces her qualifying phrase " in my experience." The phrase certainly denies that her statements were general to Catholic Schools of the country. 1 apologise for previously calling them general statements. The phrase, however, does not deny that the statements were dogmatic (or unproved assertions) about the comparatively few schools of which she has intimate knowledge. It is unkind, unwise and unscientific to make this statement, which would require a lot of evidence to prove :" It is, however, my sad experience that in other respects Catholic Schools are often ahown up in a had light, compared with others." May l just ask Miss Rorke a question on comparative patience ? Does she, as an Educational Psychologist, get more urgent or more frequent appeals for the removal of an awkward or a backward child from Catholic or County Schools ?

A few of Miss Rorkes other points I would like to question.

I. " Broadly speaking the more intelligent children are found among the higher income groups." Is Miss Rorke confusing intelligence with attainments ? It is obvious that with greater parental interest and supervision with better domestic facilities inborn intelligence will reach higher attainments, but I doubt that the poor are below average in the incidence of inborn intelligence.

2. If Child Guidance is so keen on the importance of the family. why are the authorities so prone to whisk a child away from his home, on the pretext of being " in need of care and protection," instead of assisting and stiffening his parents to provide a loving home. Does the child get " love, appreciation and security's after he has been whisked away ?

3. I wonder if our Christian orphanages would agree that it is " most difficult to lead (an orphan) to the Love of God." or that their ex-scholars frequently turn into criminals.

Really, Sir. if Miss Rorke really wants Catholic teachers to hearken more to the voice of Psychology, I think she has used " had Psychology" to achieve that end. W. DERMOT FARR,I. I . Assistant Master, Si. Patrick's Boys', El.




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