Foundation Divisions Invited Column

Resources from Div. 2 (The Society for the Teaching of Psychology)

Society for the Teaching of Psychology resources for general psychology.
By William Altman, PhD

The Society for the Teaching of Psychology promotes excellence in the teaching and learning of psychology. We provide information, materials and most importantly, a community of teachers who want to help each other achieve greatness in our classrooms. In short, we’re from the APA, and we’re here to help you.

In addition to the peer-reviewed classroom teaching resources and sample syllabi from Project Syllabus, two other  popular resources are the Today in the History of Psychology and Psychology in Communities wikis. They provide a wealth of information that you may find useful not only for teaching, but also for working with members of your wider community and with representatives of the media.

The Today in the History of Psychology wiki is a constantly growing online compilation of key events and people in psychology, with over 3200 entries. We’ve organized it in a cross-referenced calendar format, and it has excellent links to other online content. You might use it to find information for your class or as an excellent tool for projects and assignments. For example, you might ask students to look for and discuss (or write about) the important psychological events and birthdays that happened on their own birthdays. (My own birthday includes the 1660 founding of what evolved into Great Britain’s Royal Society.)

One of our most interesting efforts is the Psychology in Communities wiki. We designed it around the idea that we are experts in our psychological fields and that every year we share our knowledge of psychological science with students, helping them challenge their beliefs about behavior and perhaps improve their daily lives. Why stop there? We should share psychology with our wider communities, enriching the lives and improving the interactions of our friends, neighbors and communities in general. We created this wiki to share information that will prepare us to help the general public. In this wiki, you’ll find ways to work with your local media, strategies for becoming a popular speaker for local, regional and national groups and even scripts and PowerPoint presentations that you can use for particular talks. There’s a link to STP’s peer-reviewed media training website, to help you determine how you’d best like to work with the media and to give you the step-by-step directions for achieving your goal, such as becoming a trusted source or getting your own column or time on the air. And you can also use this wiki to create assignments for your students. For instance, you might ask them to write letters to the editor or short columns for their local newspapers or engage in a class project that culminates in a presentation for local officials or local media on a topic of interest.

The Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) provides these and many other resources free of charge on our website. Membership in STP includes the journal, Teaching of Psychology, access to our Professional Development Mentoring Service, online access to the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly (thanks to a reciprocal agreement with the Society for the Psychology of Women), access to our searchable membership directory, special publications for members only and a host of other benefits. The cost of membership is just $25 per year for faculty and only $15 for students. Learn more about joining STP on our website.

About the Author

Bill Altman is Div. 2’s vice president for resources.