A Scientist-Educator Perspective on Psychological Literacy

Daniel Bernstein

in The Psychologically Literate Citizen

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199794942
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914500 | DOI:
A Scientist-Educator Perspective on Psychological Literacy

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The blueprint for undergraduate psychology proposes a psychologically literate citizen who is well informed about psychological research findings and methods of generating and evaluating evidence that is situated in meaningful psychological and social contexts. In addition such a citizen would learn to use that set of skills as appropriate in her or his life outside of school, in part through collaborative, course-embedded community based experiences. The model of scientist-educator also presented in the blueprint provides a good road map for undertaking the challenge of achieving educational goals with cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. Such an instructor would undertake a serious exploration of specific goals appropriate to the citizen model, and he or she would read how others have approached synthesizing this complex repertoire. After designing appropriate opportunities for the students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, values, and actions, the instructor implements an instructional design and carefully collects and analyzes the evidence of student performance. The final step for the instructor is to learn from the evidence and identify ways that subsequent offerings of the course could be enhanced so they make even greater contributions to the development of the ideal psychologically literate citizen. The process of delivering the instruction and learning from its results is placed in the context of models of scholarship of teaching and in the context of a set of quality principles for teaching that emerged from the blueprint project.

Keywords: scientist-educator; psychological literacy; psychologically literate citizen; backward design; scholarship of teaching; quality principles for teaching

Chapter.  7167 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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