I view psychology as one of the best opportunities for students to learn about what to expect in their lives (or even how to encounter what they don't expect) in their lives. Students can look up facts in textbooks but are they aware of the world around them? In the psychology courses I teach I want students to become more aware of their world and not just "book facts."
My emphasis in most of my classes is to provide the student with useful information that they can use in their own lives. In some of my courses, this is information on how to be a parent or how to age successfully and to not look back and say, "I wish I had known that" when I was younger."
In all of my classes , I try to give the student far more than a "two midterm and final" experience. My courses are characterized by lots of opportunities to personally experience the more abstract factual content of the courses. Whether this means spending time watching courtroom action, in my Psychology & Law course or interacting directly with older people in the Adulthood & Aging course, or trying different kinds of methodologies in the Social Psychology course, I want students to come away with a sense of personally experiencing the people and/or the problems underlying the course content.
I also try to provide students with clinical and other practical information that will enable them to be able to ask the right kinds of questions and make the right decisions when they find themselves facing typical problems of a psychological nature and of life, in general. I also want students to be exposed to issues and ideas that are not commonly part of their textbooks. I know they can read. I want them to consider things beyond reading, including the impact of history and politics on their lives.
Professor of Psychology