My Views on Teaching
My view is that learning is a collaborative enterprise. Without engagement from both experts and novices, learning suffers. I bring this view, along with a situated cognition perspective, to my teaching. My goal in all of my courses is to foster as direct engagement as possible with the content and skills of the field and the 21st century. This means that learners are asked to work collaboratively in order to both design and solve complex problems similar to those they may see outside of the classroom. In the fields of education and psychology, this involves evaluating and contributing to research and practice, including developing questions and designing studies to answer those questions.
Below, I discuss how I bring this view of teaching into three courses: Educational Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, and Developmental Psychology. Feel free to scroll or use the buttons to the right to navigate throughout the page.
Educational Psychology is a collaborative, interdisciplinary field that brings together aspects of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, developmental psychology, and educational practice. Educational psychology coursework prepares students for a variety of work settings, including positions in teaching, research, instructional design, and educational assessment.
My Ed Psych learners are tasked with taking on varied perspectives within the field of educational psychology, including behavioral, cognitive, constructivist, and situated approaches to learning. Theoretical perspectives - as well as learner and environmental characteristics - are evaluated based on established empirical findings. For a final project, learners leverage existing research to address a core area of educational psychology, with a focus either on teaching, future research, or learning design.
See my Spring 2019 Ed Psych Syllabus for a more complete overview of the course.
Introduction to Psychology
Introductory psychology courses are a standby for almost every liberal arts program, and for good reason. The field of psychology encompasses everything we think, feel, and do. Psychology courses give learners the tools to think critically about anything from the mechanisms of multi-tasking to the language of politics.
My Intro to Psych learners take three different perspectives throughout the course: humans as biological, behaving organisms; humans as cognitive, thinking organisms, and humans as social, developing organisms. Learners analyze foundational and modern research literature related to each of these perspectives as we work together to build a comprehensive, biopsychosocial view of humans. For a final project, learners design a study surrounding an area of their own interest.
Developmental psychologists study the process of human development from conception to death. Courses on human development give learners the opportunity to examine this process with more detail than introductory coursework allows.
My DevPsych sections continue with the biopsychosocial perspective to examine development throughout the lifespan. Learners are asked to consider three aspects of human development: biological, cognitive, and social-emotional development. As part of the course, learners more deeply analyze research literature and methods and take on teaching an area of developmental psychology to their peers. At the end of the course, learners synthesize their understanding of all three areas of development by discussing an individual's development.
See my Spring 2019 DevPsych syllabus for a more complete overview of the course.