Teaching Institute

The 10th Annual Teaching Institute, co-sponsored by APS and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, continued the popular pre-convention event where attendees share ideas that can be immediately put to use in the classroom. In addition to the traditional day-long program, this year’s institute included a pre-institute workshop focused on helping participants develop or refine their teaching philosophy.

APS Fellow and Charter Member Carol Tavris began the day with a presentation on the value of teaching students about uncertainty, called “The Benefit of Doubt: Teaching Students the Value of Uncertainty.” In order to become critical, reflective thinkers, students must face one of the things they dislike the most: uncertainty. Tavris provided several tips on how to teach about the benefits of uncertainty: emphasize the importance of convictions, model uncertainty as you teach, use course material to underscore the theme, and go to the students directly by having them generate their own lists of the benefits of certainty and uncertainty.

Following the opening plenary session, institute participants examined a variety of topics at six concurrent sessions and a poster session focused on the teaching of psychology. Presenters discussed a variety of subjects: engaging students in research methods, resources for becoming a better teacher, resources for introductory textbook selection, introducing students to psychological research, recent developments in biological psychology, and tips for preparing graduate students for faculty roles.

APS Fellow and Charter Member Robert Sternberg, Yale University, ended the Teaching Institute by describing how teachers of psychology can reach all students with “The CAP Model for Teaching and Assessing Performance in Psychology.” With the CAP model, short for creative, analytical, and practical thinking, instruction and assessment can be designed to capitalizes on a student’s strengths by providing multiple opportunities for memory encoding.

Observer Vol.16, No.8 August, 2003

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