VERITABLE science is a very expensive, a luxury resource. With the advanced technologies more people have access to real science and to the great promotors and actors in it – researchers and great university Professors. Me for example, I had won a grant for a semester almost – 10 weeks for an online, distance, e-learning course at the Oregon University from the USA. It dealt with interactive web technologies for teaching; a course with strict requirements, required reading, weekly mandatory tasks that had to be completed and posted on the blog, peer-reviewed, plus a gradual completion of a course project, a final evaluation construed from different criteria; we had even a prom group portrait J with coursants from China, Korea, Nigeria, Hungary, Moldova, Russia etc., those who had passed, (several had abandoned) and a full case of e-technologies for classroom as acquis; a certificate with a transcript of grade and academic credits earned, a badge, a book, received through the USA Embassy in the country of origin.
My personal experience with online learning and online courses has included several outstanding courses given by groups of the most performant lecturers in the domain. The design of the curriculum is done in such a way that people really learn, earn evaluation points and certification. Very often my curiosity was stoked regarding those Professors who are really-really great and whom I definitely worshiped! They are researchers, they have written great books in their domain, they gather full auditoria with students, people; they frequent international science debates, summits with the top mind-tanks in their field, they have their regular university courses in real-time schedule; what motivates them to teach online on educational platforms that offer the option to pass the course entirely without receiving a certificate at the end, if one does not pay the modest, symbolic fee fixed for the course!!!
At a social psychology course given by the Professor Scott Plous from Wesleyan University he revealed the fact that they regard their activity at that course like a sort of voluntary work, thus they are pursuing a humanitarian task of sharing knowledge, giving back to the community. During one Google hangouts session he invited and we had the synchronous interaction with Philip Zimbardo – himself, as we had studied about the Stanford Prison Experiment, and accessed the site, watched the documentary (obligatory sources for the course), read about, commented on the forum. We had a direct encounter with the author of the Lucifer Effect in person; we saw him, he answered questions, we saw the professors interact! His contribution to social science is amazing, further on he experimented with the visage and manifestations of social aggression in vivo – he descended in the street with the psychology of evil and tested the limits of human depersonalization and disengagement, empowerment and entitlement, aggression and conformity to authority (within their own getto, with their own lucifers) engaging in vandalism and destructive deeds, opposed to the rest of the society who are by definition inferior, valueless, the Others, or – the enemy that MUST be destroyed. The perpetrators of those slums are gods there under the cloak of anonymity or behind a mask of their “king’s” fool.
I consider myself lucky, because I guess those courses are real, but they have the soft ephemeral property of disappearing quickly. I would say those are a one opportunity case, then the Giants withdraw to their fundamental activities. They do not even imagine the effects of their such insignificant for them exposure through a rigorous university course lectured in a friendly but expert manner!
I would like to refer to another scientific event – a public lecture in clinical psychology – “THE PERSONALITY DISORDERS – FROM CLINICAL GUIDES TO DAILY LIFE” presented by Daniel David – university professor, who is also the Chairman of the Psychological Association from Romania, with his formation-training in psychotherapy under the mentorship of Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck the founders of CBT.
The public lecture was delivered at a renewed and rehabilitated block of Theology Faculty from the State University of Moldova. I was completely surprised at the volume and quality of repairs done at the University, not just a routine substitution of a piece of furniture with the ambitious label of Euro level repairs – it was a new exquisite design, a modern feel and look, technically endowed.
In that context, the lecture was really like a mass prayer, and the Professor Daniel David – like a preacher.
The lecture was programmed for the last day of students’ winter vacation, however the lecture hall was full with psychology professors, psychotherapy practitioners, students, master degree programme students (me included in the latter category). As the professor has a solid formation in psychotherapy in the USA the lecture was a fluent combination of expert talk in Romanian with all the original sources for the theme in English – reference to the DSM-V, and the fundamental book for the domain –Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders by Aaron Beck et all. cited and recommended in original.
Basically, I would like to mention that the auditorium was speaking the same language with the Professor both literally and figuratively. Moreover the auditorium grew heated, all of the present there were screening themselves once more, not only evaluating oneself and our knowledge on the theme, not only an exam of professional knowledge and skills, but in addition we had been confronted with a mirror reflection, with ethical dilemmas, case studies, with our social functioning and efficiency, not just reductionist view of our self-efficiency and ambiguous social success in an ivory tower setting – a false, insensible, vain micro-paradise of our own lack of concern for the rest. The occasional deep silence and motionless auditorium was speaking volumes about the perfect contact and understanding of the lecturer, the profound involvement in the theme, the extended connections, galleries and events, life situations; clinical cases and real-life cases that were circulating in our mind, being in touch with the material. Cases in which we had been involved and had an impact, as well as cases in which we chose not to assume responsibility, deny, ignore, avoid, through a feeling of our own powerlessness or cowardice if not perfidyc betrayal.
I have touched upon the subject of language which is a matter of discord here. On the local market of psychotherapeutic services and formation there are two competing, antagonistic groups – the majority group – with a formation from Russia, education completed there or therapeutic training by Russian trainers here at our centers. From those active psychotherapists and professors there are such who speak Russian to the categorical exclusion of any other language, being engaged in a sort of higher, golden cast hostility against the Romanian speaking psychotherapists and professors.
Fortunately there are increasingly more high order specialists – psychotherapists and professors who take their degree and specialized formation in Romania, which has become gradually more advanced, more qualitative and progressively more attractive and prestigious for psychology graduates.
I am happy that the ice was broken, I strongly support the new trend and orientation towards the West in psychology, I am grateful and find beneficial establishing the connection, the flow of civilization, education and culture where there language barrier is also erased what really matters is the true VALUE.