Discussion, lecture, practice. Prerequisite: advanced graduate standing
in psychology or a closely related discipline and consent of instructor.
Methods and problems of teaching psychology at the undergraduate and graduate
levels; curriculum design and evaluation. Practical experience in the preparation
and presentation of material. (S/U grading only; deferred grading only,
pending completion of sequence.)—II-III. (II-III.)
Mentor: Dr. Dean Keith Simonton, Distinguished
Professor of Psychology
Course Structure | Course Resources
This professional course is distributed over two consecutive quarters,
winter and spring. Only eight of you can be enrolled in any given year,
and you must complete both quarters to receive credit for the course. Hence,
you should only take this course if you are 100% sure you are going to
complete the two-quarter sequence. To drop out early means that you will
impose an unfair burden on your fellow students, who will have to cover
for your absence. Even worse, you will have denied the opportunity for
someone else to enroll in a course that always has a long waiting list.
Winter quarter: You will first select the textbooks
to be used in actual instruction in the spring so that we can get everybody
copies as soon as possible. We will then discuss both the philosophy of
teaching and the mechanics of instruction, with emphasis on covering introductory
psychology courses at the lower-division level. Next we will devote the
remainder of winter quarter to practice lectures to enable all of you to
receive feedback from both me and your fellow graduate students. The course
syllabus for winter 2013 is found here.
Spring quarter: Now you get to perform what you practiced
by team teaching a regular introductory class. For example, whenever eight
of you are enrolled in this professional course (the enrollment maximum),
you will be distributed between two sections of Psychology 1. Hence, each
of you would have responsibility for one quarter of a course. Because a
4-unit quarter course is supposed to have approximately 40 in-class hours,
that means that you each would be responsible for about 10 of those hours.
You would also write the multiple-choice exam for your course module. Teaching
evaluations will be collected at the end of each of your modules so that
the undergraduates can give you feedback beyond that provided by me. For
sample syllabi from prior 390 Psychology 1 sections, please go here.
Please note that 390B meets in the classroom for introductory instruction
rather than in a separate seminar room.
Although you do not receive a letter grade in this course, your performance
will clearly undergo qualitative evaluation both winter and spring quarters.
The resulting overall evaluation can become the basis of any letters of
recommendations that you may later ask me to write when you apply for temporary
or ladder-track positions that place some degree of emphasis on teaching
effectiveness - positions that predominate in community and liberal arts
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Resources can be grouped into three categories, namely, websites,
videos/audios, publications, documents, and presentations.
The Society for the Teaching of Psychology,
Division 2, American Psychological Association. The single most important
Introductory Psychology Resources.
The single most important source focused on teaching introductory psychology
(but still under construction)
Association for Psychological Science. Many useful links.
Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Division 8, American
Psychological Association. The resources are more broad than implied by
the SPSP designation.
Social Psychology Network. Ditto.
Statement, Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University. Something to
think about. Your thoughts will be needed when you apply for jobs!
Gross Lucas, S. (2008). A
guide to teaching introductory psychology. Oxford, UK: Blackwell
Publishing. A very useful nuts-and-bolts book, with special focus on lectures
and demonstrations. Strongly recommended to help you prepare your lectures.
Sternberg, R. J. (Ed.). (1997). Teaching
introductory psychology survival: Tips from the experts. Washington,
DC: American Psychological Association. Chapters by Philip G. Zimbardo,
David G. Myers, Robert J. Sternberg, Carole E. Wade, and many others.
Benjamin, Jr., L. T. (Ed.). (2008). Favorite
activities for the teaching of psychology. Washington, DC: American
Psychological Association. A wide assortment of tried and tested "demonstrations,
experiments, discussions, and simulations."
Simonton, D. K. (2006). Nothing
more than a university professor engaged in teaching, research, and service:
Nor less. In J. G. Irons, B. C. Beins, C. Burke, B. Buskist, V. Hevern,
& J. E. Williams (Eds.), The teaching of psychology in autobiography:
Perspectives from psychology’s exemplary teachers (Vol. 2, pp. 85-91).
Washington, DC: Society for the Teaching of Psychology, American Psychological
Association. A presentation of my general orientation to teaching, including
my teaching philosophy and how I dealt with teaching while maintaining
an active research program. The series includes many other chapters, including
essays by Charles
L. Brewer, Douglas
K. Candland, Diane
F. Halpern, Neil
J. (Bill) McKeachie, Michael
Wertheimer, and many others (albeit, sad to say, only a small proportion
are at research universities).
Korn, J. H., & Sikorski, J. (2010). A
guide for beginning teachers of psychology. Washington, DC: Society
for Teaching Psychology, American Psychological Association. An electronic
book in either PDF or RTF - and free!
Chapter 1: History. Powerpoint Lecture for Exploring
Psychology (Myers, 7th edition). To be presented in seminar on third
and the Big Five. Teaching Personality and Social Psychology Pre-Conference
for the meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, Los
Angeles, 2003. A speculation on what it takes to be a great teacher. To
be presented in seminar on third meeting.