“I really can't say enough positive things about the Psych One Program. The training I received while I was a Psych One Teaching Fellow instilled in me a deep appreciation for the many skills required to be an effective teacher.”
-Psych One TF
A central goal of the Psychology One Teaching Program is to provide world-class training to the next generation of teachers and leaders. We seek to achieve this goal using a year-long, mentored teaching model.
PSYCH ONE TEACHING FELLOWS LEARN TO:
- Design lesson plans to achieve a range of goals.
- Evaluate student work and offer helpful and motivating feedback.
- Develop strategies for solving common problems that arise in a teaching context.
- Communicate more clearly through speaking, writing, and listening.
- Collaborate effectively with others in a teaching context, including planning, execution, and problem solving.
- Refine their approach to teaching, utilizing both self-reflection and feedback in that process.
YEAR-LONG TRAINING CYCLE
We begin an annual cycle each spring, when we interview and select graduate students and undergraduates, in equal numbers, to join the course as teaching fellows for the following year.
Notably, we have found that the inclusion of undergraduates as teaching fellows in our program has been invaluable to our success. Most of those selected are advanced psychology majors who have research experience as well as teaching or mentorship experience of some type. The undergraduates bring considerable skill, enthusiasm, and work ethic to their positions. They also come into the program having experienced the course from a student's perspective, and thus can help the rest of the team to understand that perspective and take it fully into account.
Once teaching fellows have been selected, we kick off the year with a lunch for all incoming teaching fellows in the spring before they actually begin teaching.
Over the summer, the new teaching fellows review the course content, which includes not only the textbook, but an online teaching resource that we have created: the "Psych One Wiki." The Wiki is used as a repository for sample lesson plans, discussion questions, video clips, activities, demonstrations, and general articles on teaching and learning. The Wiki is collaborative: As teaching fellows move through the program, they contribute their own ideas to it.
A full-day orientation just before the start of fall quarter (attended by all program faculty and staff as well as the teaching fellows) is packed with practical exercises to help the fellows be successful in their very first week. Each activity is designed to model effective teaching, as well as teach the basics of it.
During the fall quarter, all 18 teaching fellows attend lectures, hold office hours, and each teach two small discussion sections for the course. One of these discussion sections is co-taught: Undergraduate and graduate teaching fellows are paired up to plan and co-lead one of the discussion sections. The second discussion section is taught solo.
A weekly teaching practicum provides the fellows with ongoing training and support across the quarter, and the program coordinator visits each section during the quarter to offer individual feedback.
After fall quarter, the teaching fellows are split into two groups: roughly half teach in the winter quarter and half in the spring. During these quarters, the fellows, now with a quarter of teaching under their belts, are encouraged to refine and polish their approach.
In addition to teaching one section per week, the fellows complete practical weekly assignments, such as crafting a psychology-relevant story, discussion question, or statement of their teaching philosophy. The weekly teaching practicum involves the fellows working together in hands-on activities and discussions to hone their skills and crystallize their goals.
The fellows also visit one another's sections to provide feedback, are videotaped, and observed by the program coordinator. Our annual cycle is capped with a celebratory dinner in which we honor each of the teaching fellows' accomplishments.