Indonesian professional psychology education curricula: a mixed-methods study

Ningdyah, Anrilia Ema Mustikawati (2018) Indonesian professional psychology education curricula: a mixed-methods study. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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This study explored the characteristics of curricula in Indonesian professional psychology programmes. These curricula have become a great concern of professional psychology educators in Indonesia, yet research has been very limited. Besides the high public interest in higher education psychology in Indonesia (Nurrachman, 2013) and the increasing community need for psychology services (Sarwono, 2004), Indonesia's professional psychology programmes are going through challenging times. HIMPSI1, the only professional organisation of Indonesian psychologists, and the AP2TPI2 have worked hard to provide additional regulations governing the management of professional psychology programmes. However, the programmes are still struggling to keep up with the rapid development of government regulation in higher education. The problems were escalated in 2002, when the professional psychology programmes were upgraded to the master's level.

There is only minimal government regulation of curricula, compared to other educational aspects such as financial and resources standards. Consequently, problems and confusion are more apparent in the organisation of the programme curricula; hence, the basis for the focus of this research on professional psychology education curricula.

Description and discussion of professional psychology programme management abounds in the Western literature (e.g., Hyslop & Cumming, 1998; Maher, 1999; Merlo, Collins, & Bernstein, 2008; Newstead & Makinen, 1997; O'Donovan, Bain, & Dyck, 2005; Pachana, O'Donovan, & Helmes, 2006; Taylor & Carless, 2006). Information on the management of professional psychology programmes in contexts other than the Western world, such as those in Asia (e.g., Qian, 2011; Shimoyama, 2011; Tanaka-Matsumi & Otsui, 2004; Y. Yang, 2004) and Africa (e.g., Gire, 2004; Koinange, 2004; Stead, 2004), have started to emerge. Unfortunately, discussions focusing on Indonesian professional programmes are minimal, and entirely absent in the most current literature. In addressing this information gap, the intention is that the study will support understanding among fellow educators and providers, and contribute to scientific discussion on professional psychology education in the literature.

Given the lack of similar research and up-to-date information on the management of the Indonesian professional psychology programmes, this research firstly sought to provide an overview of the basic profiles of the programmes and further explored in-depth the characteristics of programmes curricula.

Mixed research methods were used in this study, which involved the concurrent implementation of quantitative and qualitative approaches. A cross-sectional survey method using questionnaires was applied in the quantitative study and a case study method using interviews and curriculum documents was utilised in the qualitative study.

Quantitative results show that the Indonesian professional psychology programmes are managed at a master's level which requires a minimum study period of two years. Clinical Psychology is offered by all programmes and Educational and Industrial Psychology by some. In all programmes, a set of academic and non-academic criteria are applied in student selection with approximately equal weighting given to each. However, admission rates tend to be varied in terms of degree of competitiveness. Lecturers in these programmes mostly hold a master's level degree as their highest educational qualification. The quantitative results also reveal some similarities between the curricula of the Indonesian programmes and the presence of characteristics of professional psychology education noted in the relevant literature.

Qualitative results generated a total of six overarching themes in describing characteristics of curricula in the Indonesian programmes and provide a more complete and in-depth picture of the curricula profiles, particularly in relation to the dynamics of curriculum formation, the development of objectives and learning materials that emphasizes adherence to institutional standards and regulations, but lack attention to community needs, and the struggle to foster a scientific climate (despite the study results confirming the inclusion of a research/science component in the learning content of the programmes). The qualitative results also reveal the constraints and concerns surrounding programme management. Noteworthy among these are obstacles related to the number and characteristics of lecturers and classical debates related to generalist vs. specialist professional education. Integration of quantitative and qualitative results shows a considerable degree of alignment in explaining curriculum characteristics. Data triangulation confirms the validity and enables more comprehensive description of the profiles of the Indonesian professional psychology programmes curricula, such as in explaining programme objectives that emphasize the objective of students developing the fundamental competencies of a psychologist.

Integration of the two study results also highlights the fact that the curriculum development process is dominated by a scholarly academic ideology which pays only minimal attention to societal needs. The provision of a scientific foundation in the implementation of psychological practice is also a prominent integration result, including the use of teaching and learning methods that combine lecturer-centred and other active learning methods, and comprehensive evaluation mechanisms involving various assessment methods and multiple assessors in measuring a range of student learning achievement indicators. Interestingly, results related to training models tend to vary within and between quantitative and qualitative results, in which further analysis of integrated data shows a tendency towards an application of a practitioner-scholar model in the Indonesian programmes.

Results of this study indicate that in several aspects curriculum characteristics of the Indonesian professional psychology programmes – including specified concerns and obstacles – mirror those that feature in international professional psychology education. A distinct anomaly of the Indonesian programmes is that efforts to incorporate information on the needs of the community into the curricula have not been optimal, despite the adoption of a practitioner-scholar model which essentially places emphasis on factoring societal needs into professional education content. The emphatic application of a content-based model in the Indonesian programmes has had the effect of delaying the development of the competency movement that has been happening worldwide- and which, in fact, the Indonesian government has started incorporating when formulating educational output.

Conclusions and further implications arising from these results are discussed, emphasizing the need to foster the development of a competency-based model in order to provide some balance to the current scholar-academic dominance in the curriculum formation, while continuing efforts to enhance the development of evidence-based practice in the education of Indonesian psychologists.

Item ID: 56020
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: content validity, homogeneity reliability, professional psychology, psychologist, psychology curriculum, training model
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Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Anrilia Ema Mustikawati Ningdyah
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Publications arising from this thesis are available from the Related URLs field. The publications are:

Chapter 3: Ningdyah, Anrilia E.M., Helmes, Edward, Thompson, Claire, Kidd, Garry, and Greenwood, Kenneth Mark (2016) Training models in professional psychology education: a literature review. Anima Indonesian Psychological Journal, 31 (4). pp. 149-159.

Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2018 01:31
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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