Page 2, 16th June 1950

16th June 1950
Page 2
Page 2, 16th June 1950 — CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

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Organisations: Approved School


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Use and abuse of psychology

Sut,While Miss K. Rorke's short definition of Psychology as "The Science of the Soul " would be acceptable to most Catholics, I doubt whether it would be so to most of her national or international fellow psychologists. Do not most of them deny the existence of an immortal, spiritual soul and just regard man as a rational animal, who acquired his rationality at some unspecified stage in his purely material ancestry? Do most of them accept the Existence of an Infinite. Spiritual God. Who separately creates each soul as an image of Himself? Miss Rorke tries to minimise this conflict between Catholic teaching and the merely materialistic schools of psychology. but that conflict explains how Catholic teachers appear to ignore or allegedly ridicule modern psychological findings. Assured of a psychologist's sound moral and Christian bases, Catholic teachers will attend to his findings at least as attentively as other teachers. 'I hey have studied and know the valuable help that sound psychology can give to priest, parent, teacher, doctor. magistrate and policeman, etc. They also know what a baneful influence unsound psychology is having today.

For example, '' It is no longer possible to regard the criminal as responsible for his actions." -Dr. Percy Nunn. That is subversive of all law and morality. and we are tending that way. " Of 120 youths in an Approved School it has been true of every case that the delinquency represented an escape from an emotionally intolerable sittiation."-Mr. D. H. Stott, Carnegie Trust psychologist. All there through one cause? Incredible! Anyway, are we not supposed to control our emotions and passions? These Approved School places are officially stated to cost us £5 I2s. a week each. That is not surprising when one hears that no other kind of school in the country can offer such material amenities. We send a boy of eleven there for three years. Cost £875, May we ask the psychologists, who seem to legislate for these establishments, what percentage of lasting reformations the taxpayer is getting for this colossal expenditure Today, I read of a criminal who before his adult crimes had had three periods in an Approved Schoiossl kiRorke. an educational psychologist, is a little unscientific in her kiRorke. an educational psychologist, is a little unscientific in her strictures. She makes two dogmatic general statements, neither of which could she prove even. in the cases of the few schools that she can know intimately, Of course, I can

not disprove them, either. "To0 often is there recourse to corporal punishment and a lack of patience with an awkward child in Catholic Schools compared with County Schools." Why say it, if it can't be proved. Moreover, isn't it prejudice rather than science to call me " less

civilised " because I believe in the limited efficacy of corporal punish ment. 1 have tried and studied nearly all forms of punishment short of incarceration!

W. DERMOT FARRELL. St. Patrick's Boys, Wapping, E.I.

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