Teaching of Psychology

Dana S. Dunn

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online November 2011 | | DOI:
Teaching of Psychology

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
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  • Educational Psychology
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Psychology is somewhat distinct from other academic disciplines in that its own knowledge can be used to improve how its subject matter is taught and learned. Further, anyone in the discipline who shares knowledge with others is effectively a teacher of psychology. Psychologists interested in the teaching of psychology often work in educational settings, including high schools, two-year community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and graduate schools. Many teachers of psychology who are interested in refining their craft and professional calling work to conduct and promote research that improves the teaching and learning of discipline-related material. Other teachers of psychology stay current with the literature on teaching pedagogy in the discipline, relying on it to improve courses and curricula as well as their own teaching efforts in classrooms and increasingly in online venues. Interest in and appreciation of the importance of teaching to psychology has grown since the late 20th century. In the distant past, few psychology faculty members ever received any training in how to teach; they learned by doing, a process fraught with challenges for both teachers and students. Over time, guidance on course construction, classroom management techniques, and teaching tools aimed at psychology began to appear. The opening section of this article covers readings on the history of teaching in psychology, followed by a list of teaching-oriented journals and materials pertaining to the teaching of psychology in secondary-level settings. The next section examines undergraduate education, highlighting works that serve as broad overviews and those focused on curricular matters. Teaching activities designed to enliven class as well as educate students are the focus of the next section. These activities are designed for use in course contexts, including introductory psychology, statistics and research methods, teaching writing, and miscellaneous activities relevant for a variety of courses. Enhancing students’ skills, the topic of the next section, includes critical thinking, student self-assessment, scientific reasoning in psychology, psychological literacy, and technological skills. Diversity, internationalizing the teaching of psychology, and student-friendly sources on career matters for psychology majors are the topics of the next sections. Assessment, the measurement and demonstration of acquired skills, is reviewed in three contexts: teaching and learning, teaching effectiveness, and student perspectives on instructors and courses. The bibliography closes by providing references aimed at preparing new faculty for academic careers and then turning to sources on conducting research in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Article.  11710 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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