FIFTY YEARS OF PSYCHOLOGY IN NIGERIA: ARE WE STILL TEACHING SCIENCE OR FOLKTALES?

OCHINYA O OJIJI

Abstract



This paper critically examined the current status of the teaching of psychology in Nigeria fifty years after the discipline was first taught in a Nigerian University. With around thirty departments across the nation’s universities, there is no indication that an indigenous approach to the teaching of the discipline has evolved. Secondly, there is a gradual decline in the level of adherence to universal values underpinning the teaching of psychology as a science in the country. The teaching of psychology and as a consequence, the practice of the discipline is drifting in the direction of irrelevance mostly as result of weak institutional support for the discipline by university authorities and the absence of a law backing the Nigerian Psychological Association (NPA) as the regulatory body of psychology in the country. As a result, the NPA has been incapable of dealing with a myriad of problems of teaching psychology as a science as well as unwholesome practices within the profession. In order that the discipline becomes relevant to growing national demands for psychologically- oriented solutions to problems and contribute to the development of globally acceptable explanations of human behavior, Nigerian psychologists need to actively support on-going efforts of the NPA to urgently put in place legal-sanctioned mechanisms for regulating the teaching and practice of psychology in the country.


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