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Newsletter of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology

Newsletter of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Division Two, American Psychological Association ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº
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Newsletter of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Division Two, American Psychological Association ºººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººººº Fall Editor: Valerie Whittlesey Greetings from the President- Elect Maureen McCarthy As I write this column the heat wave of 2007 is behind us and Georgia is experiencing the first hints of autumn. Passage of the season brings cooler weather, falling leaves, and the inevitable return of yellow school buses. As academics, we are fortunate to be able to punctuate our lives with semesters, as markers of the academic season, signaling opportunities for new learning. As we collectively enter our fall semester I would like to review Society highlights from the summer and offer some possibilities for action this fall. STP is fortunate to have an energetic Bill Buskist leading the Society. Armed with a passion for teaching and an equally inexorable depth of energy, Bill established many task forces to enhance the work of the Society. With the help of our membership, he guided the revision of the teaching awards program, supported society programming, advanced the scholarship of teaching, and facilitated a survey of members. In August Bill worked tirelessly to ensure that the meetings and sessions at the APA convention proceeded smoothly. We owe a debt of gratitude to Bill and our colleagues for their work and accomplishments this year. Table of Contents President Elect s Message p. 1 APF Charles Brewer Award Nominations p. 2 APA Psychology Dept. Program p. 2 Call for Proposals APA Convention p. 2 Call for IRA Proposals p. 2 Council of Representatives Report p. 3 Taking Risks in the Classroom p. 4 BEA Block Grants p. 5 New STP Officers p. 5 STP Teaching Awards p. 5 Call for STP Officer Nominations p. 6 OTRP Update p. 6 STP Appoinments p. 7 Convention Information p. 7 STP Presidential Citations p. 7 Results of STP Membership Survey p. 8 New Fellows p. 8 Call for Participants for APA National Conference p. 9 APA President Elections p. 9 Joining or Renewing STP Membership p. 10 Highlights from the APA Convention p. 10 GSTA Update p. 11 This fall Bill and I will work together as we continually strive to expand the resources and programming of the Society. The feedback that you provided through the survey informed our planning. This past year we convened a task force to examine the structure and function of the Society. In other words, we were interesting in conducting a self-assessment to determine if our units are organized logically and if we are operating efficiently. One of the underlying assumptions of this work included an emphasis on expanding leadership opportunities for the membership of STP. Not only do we want to continue to offer resources and programming that is valuable to the teaching community, but we want to provide opportunities for more active involvement. Our priority was to create a more efficient method of operation, while continuing to provide resources and programming for the membership. We recommended reorganizing STP into five functional areas: (a) resources, (b) programming, (c) communication, (d) recognitions and awards, and (e) outreach. This new model was approved, in principle, by the Executive Committee of the Society when we met in San Francisco. We will refine this new structure and incorporate these changes into a strategic plan that will move us forward in these efforts. Key among the issues we identified in this process is a need to expand programming in targeted areas, so if you would like to host a teaching workshop, please contact me As we transition to my term as President, I have identified my theme as A New Era for STP: Strengthening Our Collective Efforts. Within this theme I have three broad areas of emphasis. First, I would like us to review our online resources and consider ways in which we might expand these resources to meet our collective needs. We already house 1 peer-reviewed syllabi, e-books, and a consulting service for department program reviews. Responses from the STP survey provided us with some ideas for growth, but we will also be looking for innovative ways to expand the offerings through the Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP). STP only realizes its mission through our shared efforts. Please contact me if you have specific ideas, suggestions, or if you would like to serve on the task force for expanding resources. My second initiative is unification of the collective efforts of undergraduate organizations. Building on the work of Linda Noble (2003 President), I will be asking the broader teaching community to consider how we might work together to improve teaching and learning. For example, several organizations currently offer support for teaching of psychology. I will be establishing a task force to examine ways in which we might work together more efficiently. For example, are there ways in which we can consolidate our efforts as a means of strengthening our collective work? How can we work together to advance teaching and learning at all levels? Finally, I will be working to implement the new proposed infrastructure that will improve the operations of the Society. I am excited about the opportunity to implement this new model. In my role as steward of the Society, I will work to implement an open and efficient structure that will serve to enhance our contributions to the teaching and learning community. Call for Nominations American Psychological Foundation Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award The American Psychological Foundation (APF) invites nominations for the APF 2008 Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award, which recognizes an outstanding career contribution to the teaching of psychology. The awardee receives a plaque, $2,000, and a two-night, threeday, all-expenses- paid trip to the American Psychological Association s (APA) 2008 annual convention, in Boston, MA, where the award will be presented and they will be invited to give a special address. CALL FOR PROPOSALS STP PROGRAMMING AT THE APA CONVENTION BOSTON, MA Requirements: Nominees must demonstrate: o Exemplary performance as a classroom teacher; o Development of innovative curricula and courses; o Development of effective teaching methods and/or materials; o Teaching of advanced research methods and practice in psychology; and/or, o Administrative facilitation of teaching; o Research on teaching; o Training of teachers of psychology; o Evidence of influence as a teacher of students who become psychologists. Application Process: Nominations should include the APF nomination form, a statement that illustrates how the nominee fulfills the guidelines of the award, and the nominee s current vita and bibliography. Letters in support of the nomination are welcome. All materials should be coordinated and collected by the chief nominator and forwarded to APF as a single package. The deadline for receipt of materials is December 1, Nominations forms can be found at Completed nomination packets should be mailed to the APF Charles L. Brewer Teaching Award, American Psychological Foundation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC, If you have any questions, please contact Idalia Ramos at Announcing the APA Psychology Department Program Mark your calendars for the APA Convention in Boston, MA, August 14-17, The deadline for proposals is traditionally in early December, and all proposals are submitted in electronic format via the APA website. Division 2 seeks proposals for 50 minute symposia and posters. For further information, contact Loretta McGregor, Chair of Division Two Programming for APA. lmcgregorastate. edu. ( ) APA s Psychology Department Program provides access to the APA s many teaching and advising publications as well as subscriptions to APA magazines and newsletters for departments at a price of $ per year. The program includes the new editions of: 1) Career Paths in Psychology: Where Your Degree Can Take You 2) Getting In: A Step-by-Step Plan for Gaining Admission to Graduate School in Psychology 3) Graduate Study in Psychology: ) The Careers in Psychology video 5) Three complimentary student affiliate memberships, in addition to subscriptions to the Monitor, gradpsych, the Psychology Teacher Network, and The Educator. Your department can also receive PDP-NEWS, an online news source for psychology faculty and students. APA also provides a link to participating psychology departments on the APA Web site. For more information, visit apa.org/ed/pcue/psydeptprog.html. Call for Instructional Resource Award Proposals The Society for the Teaching of Psychology (APA Division 2) announces the availability of five $1500 Instructional Resource Awards, and issues a call for funding proposals. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects to develop instructional resources that support the teaching of psychology. For information about the Instructional Resource Award program, visit the Society s web site at org/members/ira.php or contact Dr. Andrew Johnson, Department of Psychology, Park University, 8700 NW River Park Drive, Parkville, MO ( at 2 Report from the August 2007 Council of Representatives Meeting David E. Johnson & Margaret A. Lloyd, Representatives The Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association (APA) met August 16th and August 19th, 2007 in San Francisco, California. Dr. Sharon Brehm, President of APA, chaired the meeting. Below are some of the business items of interest to members of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP), Division 2 of APA. Dr. Brehm reported that the total number of convention attendees was greater than 15,000. Dr. Norman Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of APA, reported that the rollout of the new APA Website has begun, but will continue for several more months. One of the first changes involved development of PsycNET, which integrates APA s searchable databases (PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PsycEXTRA, PsycCRITIQUES, & PsycBOOKS) into a single interface. Feedback from information specialists about the new interface has been positive. The new and improved APA Website should lead to more efficient searching and allow for more member services to be coordinated online. Dr. Anderson also informed Council that APA hired a consulting firm to help evaluate the annual convention and that convention affairs experienced some reorganization. The Office of Convention Affairs and Meeting Services will be moved under Governance Affairs. Dr. Anderson informed Council that APA currently has 157,000 members. Membership data suggest that the average age of members (now over age 50) continues to increase and that student membership has declined. Currently, only 18% of APA members are under 40 years of age. Dr. Anderson announced the upcoming departure of several long-time APA employees. Jim McHugh, Senior Legal Counsel: Russ Newman, Executive Director of the Practice Directorate; and Charles Jack McKay, Chief Financial Officer. APA will also hire a Chief Diversity Officer in the coming year to coordinate the varied APA diversity initiatives. Work continues on APA s strategic planning initiative. Dr. Carol Goodheart, APA Treasurer, and Charles McKay, Chief Financial Officer of APA, reported that APA is in good financial condition overall. The 2007 budget contains a projected deficit of over $900,000. The 2008 preliminary budget is currently set at over $111 million with a projected surplus of almost $400,000. Consistent with prior Council actions to institute the practice of increasing the APA base member dues annually by an amount linked to the consumer price index for all urban consumers, Council approved a $9 member dues increase from $270 to $279 for the 2008 dues year. Council approved a $1 increase in the dues for the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) from $50 to $51. Council approved a $7.6 million dollar designation of net assets for additional improvement of the APA Website. Two new APA fellows were nominated from Division 2: Dr. Tara L. Kuther and Dr. Maureen A. McCarthy. Council voted to approve their nominations and confer Fellow status. Council approved in principle new guidelines for education and training for psychologists who prescribe medications. Council also approved in principle a new model act for prescribing psychologists, which can be found at this URL: ModelActforReview.pdf As mentioned above, APA continues to investigate ways to more effectively use the APA Website to provide more services to members. Related to this ongoing process, Council approved changes to the Bylaws and Association Rules that provides for online voting in APA elections. Final approval of the bylaws changes will require a vote of the membership later in Council approved an amendment to APA Bylaws Article V and a new Article XVI that provides National Ethnic and Minority Associations to have seats on Council and to be voting members of Council. The groups involved are: American Association of Asian Psychologists, Association of Black Psychologists, Society of Indian Psychologists, and National Latino/a Association of Psychologists. Final approval of the bylaws changes will require a vote of the membership. Council approved the appointment of a Task Force on Council Representation. Concern over the decreasing number of seats for states/provinces/territories over the last two years led to the proposal to investigate whether current apportionment voting system is fair. This task force will investigate whether APA should pursue changes in the current system. Two divisions proposed sponsorship of two journals. Division 36 requested authorization to publish the Journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality. The Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers (Section VIII of Division 12) requested approval for sponsorship of the 14-year-old Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. Council approved both requests. Council approved as APA policy a resolution in Support of Education for Sustainable Development. (The purpose of this resolution is to produce graduates who are knowledgeable about, and engaged in, the solutions to society s social, economic, and environmental challenges.) Council approved a Resolution on Religion, Religion-related, and/or Religion-Derived Prejudice. Council voted to condemn academic boycotts as a violation of academic freedom and a disruption of the exchange of scientific and scholarly ideas. (This was in response to the passing of a motion, on May 30, by the British University and College Union (representing 120,000 British academics) calling for the boycott of Israeli academic institutions and for a moratorium on research and cultural collaboration with Israel via European Union and European Science Foundation funding.) Finally, Council approved two items related to increasing diversity in psychology. To promote increased leadership development for women in psychology, Council approved $300 to complete the funding needed to develop a leadership institute for women in psychology. Council also approved a $16,000 line in the proposed 2008 budget to fund the restructuring of the Minority Fellowship Program because funding for this program is being eliminated by the federal government. Dr. Brehm presented Presidential Citations to Dr. Corann Okorodudu and Dr. Florence Denmark. She also presided over a tribute to Charles McKay, CFO, who is retiring this year. Council revisited the issue of psychologists participation at U.S. detention centers such as Guantanamo Bay and passed a resolution that reaffirmed previously passed resolutions against the use of unethical interrogation techniques against persons designated as enemy combatants. The full text of the resolution can be found at resolutions/councilres0807.html. A motion to limit the role of psychologists to the provision of psychological treatment in settings in which detainees are deprived of adequate protection of their human rights was defeated. 3 MARK YOUR CALENDARS! 2007 APA CONVENTION BOSTON, MA AUGUST 14-17, 2008 Taking Risks in the Classroom Kevin Johnston Michigan State University In the inaugural Teaching Tip, I addressed Parker Palmer s thoughts on identity and integrity in teaching. I mentioned that much of Palmer s work focuses on finding ways for you to find your heart as a teacher. Part of that self-reflective process involves asking yourself, Who am I as a teacher? and How does my teaching honestly reflect my passion for my subject, my students, and for learning? For many of us, this kind of introspective journey is risky business. If not for the emotional discomfort these types of searches occasionally promote then because finding even more time to consider such large issues seems nearly impossible with day-to-day classroom responsibilities, research demands, and perhaps, home and family concerns. What constitutes risk-taking in the classroom? As far as teaching is concerned, risk-taking for most teachers implies they are doing at least one of two things: 1.Employing teaching strategies with which they are not familiar. 2.Employing behaviors that in some way break down traditional class structures, hierarchies, etc. in order to promote better student learning. Committing oneself to doing either of these can lead to more than a little discomfort. Employing both at one time could be disastrous. But learning is not always a comfortable process. Some scholars even believe that learning only occurs when there s a little pain involved. During an MSU Seminar on College Teaching, Dr. Alice Dreger, Lyman Briggs, artfully addressed taking risks in the classroom. Pulling from her own experiences as a student, Dr. Dreger remarked that she realized she didn t necessarily need teachers to teach her, particularly if they went about their business using traditional approaches. That realization led Dreger to this conclusion: In order to be effective in the classroom, a teacher must take risks to breed the kind of student-teacher trust that promotes effective learning. Some of her recommendations for new TAs in the audience included: 1. Try new teaching approaches and assess their effects immediately. Trust your students opinions. Share the evaluation process with them. Put their opinions in effect when possible. 2. Be willing to stop an activity (or a class) if it s clear your students are not prepared. You re prepared. Engender in students a feeling that they have a responsibility to you and to each other to be prepared as well. 3. Use creative visual props to engage students in conversation. 4. Be willing to give students space to learn. 5. Realize that you re not going to be great most of the time. It s okay to have a bad day. At the heart of Dreger s risk-taking philosophy is the belief that shared success and failures create trust between teachers and students. For some of us, taking a risk means not wearing a tie to work, or learning students names AND calling on them personally to help you make a point to the rest of the class. For others, taking a risk means reconstructing your course to emphasize collaborative learning, trading textbooks for provocative readings, or allowing students to submit exam questions for the final. The point is that if you are taking risks in the classroom you re doing something different from what is comfortable for you. Perhaps you ll choose to try something that turns out to be ineffective, or worse yet, embarrassing (There s nothing like a little shared embarrassment to create a teachable moment.). Or, more than likely, you ll try something different that has your students coming to the next class saying, Wow! Can we try that again? Following are some tips on how you might take risks in the classroom: Taking Risks With Lecture Do Not Lecture. Transform a passive-learning experience into one that in
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