The APS Fund for Teaching and Public Understanding of Psychological Science, established through the
generous support of a $1,000,000 endowment from The David & Carol Myers Foundation, supports activities that enhance education and communication in the scientific and academic sectors in psychology. The Fund’s Small Grants Program provides seed support of up to $5,000 for projects aimed at strengthening the teaching enterprise in psychology in the United States and abroad. Here are brief descriptions of some of the recent Small Grants Program projects.
Grantee: Christopher A. Moyer
University of Wisconsin – Stout
PsychRadio introduces listeners to the fascinating world of psychology, the science of behavior and mental processes, three minutes at a time. Current broadcasts, available at www.psychradio.org, include segments about self-esteem, relationships, and physical health; promoting achievement and peer relationships; the impact of names; chili–peppers and motivation, brain complexity, procrastination, goalkeeping and implicit biases, dreams, and learned helplessness.
2009 Northwest Teaching of Psychology Conference
Grantee: Sue Frantz
Highline Community College
The 2009 Northwest Teaching of Psychology Conference was held last October at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington. The APS grant funded travel expenses for the three key speakers at our conference. Dana Dunn from Moravian College in Eastern Pennsylvania, who at the time was President-Elect of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, spoke on the importance of teaching research methods in the Introduction to Psychology course for undergraduates. Tracy Zinn from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, spoke about a new generation of students and the increased number of helicopter parents. Diane Finley from Prince Georges Community College in Baltimore, Maryland, spoke on the joys and pitfalls of teaching online. The day also included an hour of roundtable discussions in which participants were divided up according to topics of interest. We ended the conference with a demonstration from the Port of Seattle Police Canine Unit, who brought in one of their drug-sniffing dogs and discussed the operant conditioning procedures they use in training.
Grantee: Steffan Werner
University of Idaho
The goal of the GoCognitive web project is the creation of an online center for teaching in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. We provide online demonstrations of cognitive and neurological phenomena as well as video content related to research in neuroscience. Many of the demonstrations are downloadable and the content modifiable so that they can be used in small-scale research projects by students.
TeachPsychScience.org: Resources for Teaching Research and Statistics in Psychology
Grantees: Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., Natalie Ciarocco, and David B. Strohmetz
For a variety of reasons, students are often less enthusiastic about taking a class on research methods and statistics in psychology than they are about taking abnormal psychology or social psychology. As a result, teaching research methods and/or statistics in psychology can be challenging. This requires instructors to develop high quality, engaging activities that make difficult and less-palatable concepts more engaging.
To help facilitate this process for novice and experienced teachers, we (Gary Lewandowski, Natalie Ciarocco, and David Strohmetz) created TeachPsychScience.org, a website devoted to peer-reviewed resources for teaching research and statistics in psychology. Specifically, TeachPsychScience.org provides links to online demonstrations, descriptions of class demonstrations, suggestions for class/lab activities, class assignments, lecture materials, and/or student exercises.