cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What everyone should know about psychology: An end-of-term Intro Psych discussion

sue_frantz
Expert
Expert
0 0 1,520

Earlier this year, the journal Science “asked young scientists to imagine that they could go back in time and create a university course that would help scientists navigate the years 2020 to 2022” (da Silva et al., 2022, p. 1086). In the psychology category, one person suggested a course titled “Resilience in research: How to collaborate in a virtual world.” Another suggested “New academic hotspots: Opportunities and challenges.”

While the focus of the Science article is on conducting research, I’ve been thinking more broadly about the role psychology could play for the general public. As a way to bring closure to an Intro Psych course, give students this prompt (adaptable for an online discussion):

Imagine we could go back in time to early 2020, right before the pandemic. Imagine that we have access to the resources to create a high quality, 20-minute YouTube video that we know will go viral. It will be translated into dozens of languages and seen by millions of people around the world. What content from this course would you want everyone to know before we headed into the pandemic? Pick up to three topics and be ready to explain your rationale for each.

If you are done thinking about the pandemic, use these instructions instead. The topics student generate may or may not be different.

Imagine that we have access to the resources to create a high quality, 20-minute YouTube video that we know will go viral. It will be translated into dozens of languages and seen by millions of people around the world. What content from this course would you want everyone to know? Pick up to three topics and be ready to explain your rationale for each.

After students have had a few minutes to choose their topics. Invite students to get into group of three to five.

In your groups, share your topics and rationales. As a group, from the topics shared, choose your group’s top three topics.

After groups have agreed on their topics, ask a group to share their topics and rationales. Ask the next group to share any different topics that they generated, and so on. Write the topics where everyone in the class can see them.

Once all groups have had an opportunity to share their list of topics, invite individual students to share any topics that they feel are important but did not make the list.

Ending the Intro Psych course with a discussion such as this provides students with an opportunity to reflect on what they learned as well as reflect on the value of psychology. And maybe—just maybe—one of our students will someday have the resources to create that high quality YouTube video that will go viral.

 

Reference

da Silva, C. F. A., Uzonyi, A., Cusimano, J. M., Nilsson, T., Konstantinides, N., Oda, F., Al Harraq, A., Beardsley, F., Heim, A. B., Jiang, J., Buhle, E. L., & Burnette, K. (2022). A pandemic education. Science, 375(6585), 1086–1087. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abo5791

About the Author
Sue Frantz has taught psychology in community colleges since 1992, and has been at Highline College in the Seattle area since 2001. She has served on several APA boards and committees, and was proud to serve the members of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as their 2018 president. In 2013, she was the inaugural recipient of the APA award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at a Two-Year College or Campus. She received in 2016 the highest award for the teaching of psychology--the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award . She presents nationally and internationally on the topics of educational technology and the pedagogy of psychology. She is co-author with Doug Bernstein and Steve Chew of Teaching Psychology: A Step-by-Step Guide, 3rd ed.