I came across some podcasts on psychology – MindPodcasts. The author is Arjen ter Hoeve from Holland and he has a site called Mind Podcast. Hoeve suggests that he is studying along with the audience. Perhaps this means that he is studying from a textbook. The blog is indexed and I turned to the first three podcasts which can be found here, here and here. Hoeve refers to each episode as a session. In the first session, Hoeve looks at Copernicus and his influence on changing contemporary perceptions of the place of people in the universe. He moves onto an overview of the different schools of psychology in session 2. Here I was interested to hear more about Wundt who founded structuralism using introspection to examine the components of consciousness. Hoeve also looks at functionalism, behaviourism, gestalt psychology and psychoanalysis. In session 3, I think Hoeve is outside his comfort zone as he discusses the structure and function of neurons and neurotransmitters.
The podcasts have a raw quality which I think works. Podcasts don’t always need the polished broadcasting quality production and the occasional pauses or difficulty with words convey the realistic experiences of learning a subject. Hoeve has a very natural broadcasting manner and again I thought his style worked well and that he seems relaxed throughout the presentation. The end result was that I thought Hoeve is able to deliver this material in a way which listeners would find engaging. There are some comments in the latter podcasts which suggest this is the case. In addition the episodes are bite sized and thus convenient. Although much of the material above is introductory there is a wide coverage of material and returning to basics can be argued to be useful even for those with advanced knowledge in orienting a complex field and integrating new information. The interesting point here is that Hoeve says that he is studying the material and the question arises of how valid such material is. However he is upfront about this and the listener is able to factor this in when listening to the podcasts.
In summary I thought the podcasts had a lot of effort put into them, were engaging and could be used as a starting point for further clarification and reading. The podcasts on the blog end the following year and by this stage there are 72 in the series.
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