ERIC Number: ED340999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
A Personal Relevance Approach to Teaching Theories and History of Psychology.
Waller, James E.
It may be suggested that one's reflection on psychology's past and present state is an important part of finding one's identity within psychology. The facilitation of each individual student's quest for identity within psychology may be taken as a fundamental goal of the theories and history of a psychology course. This quest may be stifled if students are allowed to simply become passive sieves of lists of names, dates, and events. Several pedagogical strategies can promote students' search for identity. These include short, in-class, contemplative essays (i.e., "microthemes") which are employed to present a structured means of utilizing certain polarities of psychology (e.g., empiricism versus rationalism) to guide students in clarifying their identity within psychology. The microtheme assignments flow from a presupposition that writing can be used to gain, and not just display, learning. Instructor presentation of model writing samples, peer debates and peer reader-based responses to the microthemes are follow-up strategies which further this search for identity. Finally, a detailed critical analysis assignment offers an opportunity for rewriting and clarification of selected microtheme polarities. A thorough critical analysis allows students to demonstrate the connections between the past, the present, and the future of an idea. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (71st, San Francisco, CA, April 25-28, 1991).