Our proposal is aimed at meeting the requirements defined implicitly above:
The intention is to develop a `core' in which there are two strands, concerned on the one hand with the theoretical bases of this emerging paradigm, and on the other with empirical studies of conversation, its nature, its `logic', and its powers. A unique feature in the teaching of this core will be that the major figures in the field will contribute to the programme as part of the teaching staff (see list of contributing faculty members).
This core will provide for the development of a number of branches, some of which may integrate with or arise from proposals from other departments. The two branches that are proposed as being developed within Psychology in the short- to medium-term future are Organizational Psychology and Therapeutic (Clinical) Psychology.
Organizational Psychology has a long history of adopting developments within the mainstream of psychology, as have other areas of management studies such as human resource management. 'Trait' conceptions of personality, for example, underlie a great number of personnel selection techniques. The current focus on `conversational reality' is emerging as a legitimate, and much in demand, area within the study of organizations (see for example, Cooper and Burrell, 1988; Morgan, 1986; Reed and Hughes, 1992; Srivastva and Barrett, 1988). The initial intention is to develop a 'branch' of Organizational Psychology in a traditional format that has these new developments forefronted in its course content, and hence supported by the 'core'.
Therapeutic Psychology in its widest sense is coming increasingly under the thrall of this 'conversational' focus, since conversation is a major part of any therapeutic treatment. 'Narrative therapy' is an emerging school that is gaining increasing attention (for example, 'The Family Therapy Networker', the main professional journal in that field, devoted an entire issue in 1994 to 'Psychotherapy's third wave: the promise of narrative'; the US edition of 'Newsweek' also ran a feature article on this approach in April 1995). Narrative therapy originates in the co-operative work of Michael White in Adelaide and David Epston in Auckland.
In sum, the core programme being proposed will be taught by the leaders in the field from around the world, and will provide the basis for a number of further developments, not all of which need be located under the umbrella of Psychology.
If you have any interest in assisting with negotiations to physically locate this proposed programme within an existing traditional University, please use the mail button below.
Some course materials are available here for a preview. These do not relate directly to core interests of the 'virtual faculty', but provide an example of one way the web can be used in support of teaching.