Meetings

International News 

 

October must be the ideal time to spend in Cyprus.  Leaving a chilly and damp UK to arrive to find full sun and temperatures of 30 degrees was a delight.  The DECP is represented at the European Federation of Psychological Associations (EFPA) and we were invited to offer a seminar on educational inclusion in a country still divided by an armed wall.  Our seminar was well attended and well received with contributions from Portugal, The Netherlands as well as the UK.  The attendees were not just psychologists, but other educators from the country.  They engaged positively with the material and a lively discussion occurred.  It was clear that the issues of the inclusion of different groups is alive and well in a number of European nations.  The book published last year on Inclusive Education in Europe is still selling well and ideas are still being shared. 

The two day committee meeting is hard work.  We start at breakfast (8.00 am) and go on into the evening, punctuated by food.  The issues under consideration include ensuring that the public information available about the profession across the member states is accurate, the value in looking to harmonise qualifications for the profession and common research projects.  One such project is looking to analyse the kinds of activities that we undertake when asked to intervene in different subject areas.  Are the competencies of psychologists working in education similar?  Can we learn from each other’s contexts? Eleven national representatives actively contributed to the meeting with a couple attending through Skype and there was a very productive atmosphere encouraged by the Chair, Margreet Versteeg from The Netherlands.   

As a native English speaker it is easy to forget that all the other members (except the Eire representative) are working in a language foreign to them.  I was tired at the end of the day and I can’t imagine what it would be like to do this and think and speak in a second or third language.  It is humbling.   

The University of Nicosia is a bright and airy environment for the work and thanks were given to  EvitaKatsimichafor organizing it so well. The room next door to our meeting room was labeled “Inclusive Education Teaching Laboratory”.  I can’t think of an English University with a room similarly entitled, I was encouraged that this matter is alive and well in Cyprus.   For Evita it was her first EFPA event and we all hope that she can contribute to future meetings.   

Plans are underway for two seminars in Moscow in July 2019.  Let us hope that they can be supported.  It is clear that European school psychology is very much alive and we have a lot to learn from each other. 

 

Christopher Arnold (Dr) 

Ocotber 2019