On Understanding Intervention in Psychology and Education

On Understanding Intervention in Psychology and Education

On Understanding Intervention in Psychology and Education

On Understanding Intervention in Psychology and Education

Excerpt

There is no as practical as a good theory.

Lewin

In a recent analysis of programs addressing psychosocial problems, Schorr succinctly defines intervention as "any systematic attempt to alter the course of development from either its established or predicted path" --a useful definition, but not a comprehensive one. Intervention is some everyone does, but few people take the time to fully understand it. To appreciate the full nature and scope of intervention, one must adopt a broad definition and attempt to answer such questions as

Why intervene? (What should be our goals? What is our responsibility with respect to facilitating human functioning? Should we intervene whenever there is a problem? When is consent required?) and

What is the best way to intervene? (What makes some ways better than others? How do we know which ways are best?)

Questions about ends and means can be asked in a straightforward way, but the answers are complex and difficult to articulate.

Whether articulated or not, each professional's partial insights guide decisions about goals sought and processes used; they become the bases and biases shaping intervention. Conflicting bases and biases are seen in how professionals address concerns associated with intervening in psychology and education. With a view to improving intervention research and practice, we group these . . .

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