Also in this issue
The Brazilian Association of Psychology Education (ABEP) A Different Approach to the Teaching and Education of Psychology
By Roberta Azzi, PhD, and Eliana Vianna, PhD
The Brazilian Association of Psychology Education (ABEP) was established in 1999. Its objectives include: the development of the teaching of psychology, coordinating information and gathering data about the work market, identifying applications of psychology that can contribute to the solution of national issues, and disseminating necessary information for the improvement of undergraduate programs in psychology. The association also works to raise funds and manage financial resources for the teaching of psychology and promotes the qualification and continuous education of psychology teachers. An example of a program occurred last December when ABEP gathered 130 Undergraduate Psychology Program Directors for a three day seminar. The discussion included such important issues as student evaluation systems and program evaluations.
Brazil, as every large country, has regional differences in the practice of psychology. ABEP also includes programs that promote the exchange of experiences among teachers and students in all the 26 states of Brazil. The central office is in the capital, the city of Brasilia, but we also make efforts to support the 33 offices of the association in the various regions of the country, where we are able to exchange knowledge and information, both online and during face to face meetings. ABEP members are psychologists, students and teachers of psychology, as well as other institutional members such as regional councils and universities. Such a diverse body of members brings to the association a particular dynamic: the debates and directions of the teaching of psychology are built from the perspective and interest of the different segments, keeping the focus on strengthening the teaching and the quality of education. The directive body of the association consists of 12 national members. Locally, there is a net of administrators who coordinate the 33 regional offices of ABEP.
The main activities developed by the association are scientific meetings, debates focused on teaching and education, deliberative assemblies about the directions of the association, studies and research meetings coordinated by the directive board, with the collaboration of the associates and specialists, and production of bibliographic and audiovisual material about themes in psychology. ABEP belongs to the National Forum for Psychology Associations (FENPB) which currently brings together 20 associations (see below). This forum is the place where ABEP establishes most of its partnerships to consolidate actions of interest to psychology. At FENPB, macro directions of psychology are debated, standards are defined and resolutions are collectively taken. Thus, even with the diversity of fields, vision, and perspectives, the possibility of assuming the collective commitment for the construction of the psychology is highlighted. With similar objectives, ABEP belongs to the Latin American Union of Psychology (ULAPSI), which is committed to the construction of a Latin American Psychology.
In Brazil, psychology was established as a profession in 1962 under federal law. Before that, psychologists were professionals with backgrounds and degrees from the liberal arts environment, especially philosophy. The 1962 law set national objectives and ethical principles for the practice of psychology in Brazil. The main regulatory agency in the country is the Conselho Federal de Psicologia or CFP (Federal Psychology Council) which sets the legal guidelines for the practice of the profession. ABEP itself is concerned mainly with aspects related to the teaching of psychology. However, ABEP and the CFP work together, focusing on different aspects of the situation as a whole, and have collaborated on many important events. Last year the main subject of these joint events and workshops was the issue of public health care. This year we will focus on education as our major theme. ABEP is currently conducting a large project on how human rights and education relate to each other. One of the focuses of the project is what we call the Basic Education Level, which extends from birth to adolescence. Our goal is to have educational psychologists working with school teachers to promote respect and concern about human rights. We are planning 33 workshops around the country to increase awareness on this important issue. In this particular project we are being supported, both financially and politically, by the Brazilian government.
For the months and years to come, we are organizing a magazine to disseminate our work, and we also support and coach several e-groups to share our experiences. Among the important issues we have been dealing with, one is of particular focus: the value of online teaching as a complementary method to traditional teaching. We are doing research on this issue, as our current law only allows an undergraduate psychology program to offer twenty percent of its the credit hours on line. Currently one our main challenges is to maintain and support our 33 offices, continue with our international exchange effort, and carry on with our ongoing projects. We welcome any inquiries about this article and our association and its activities. Please send emails with questions by clicking on this link. Ψ
Forum of Brazilian Psychology National Entities
ABEP – Brazilian Association of Psychology Education
ABOP – Brazilian Association of Professional Counselors
ABPJ – Brazilian Association of Legal Psychology
ABRAP – Brazilian Association of Psychotherapy
ABRAPESP – Brazilian Association of Sport Psychology
ABPMC – Brazilian Association of Psychotherapy and Behavioral Medicine
ABRANEP – Brazilian Association of Neuropsychology
ABRAPEE – Brazilian Association of Educational and School Psychology
ABRAPSO – Brazilian Association of Social Psychology
ANPEPP – National Association of Research and Post Graduation in Psychology
ASBRo – Brazilian Association of Rorschach
CFP - Federal Council of Psychology
CONEP – National Coordination of Students of Psychology
FENAPSI – National Federation of Psychologists
IBAP – Brazilian Institute of Psychological Evaluation
SBPD – Brazilian Society of Development Psychology
SBPH – Brazilian Society of Hospital Psychology
SBPOT – Brazilian Society of Organizational and Work Psychology
SBPP – Brazilian Society of Politics Psychology
SOBRAPA – Brazilian Society of Psychology and Acupuncture