I’m excited to announce the 2022 Presidential Initiatives and Task Forces! Please email me, Linda M. Woolf, if you are interested in serving on any of these task forces or if you have any questions.
Teaching to Make a Difference: A Social Justice Approach
Task Force for “Teaching to Make a Difference”
As teachers, we recognize that psychology has value to people’s lives individually and collectively within a multi-cultural global community. Human rights, social justice, and global citizenship are not just buzzwords but are grounded in psychological principles and essential to the wellbeing of persons, peoples, organizations, and communities. This task force will solicit, gather, and highlight resources related to a) activities/projects used by teachers to teach and promote human rights, social justice, and global citizenship (e.g., unique service learning projects; global psychology activities); b) integration of theories and research concerning these constructs into existing psychology courses; and c) identification of unique courses/programs aimed at promoting human rights, social justice, and global citizenship within a psychology framework.
Task Force on Teaching Ethics: Literacy, Thinking, and Reasoning
Both the APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major and the recent APA Introductory Psychology Initiative identify ethics as a core learning theme. Yet, very little guidance is provided to high school and undergraduate psychology teachers concerning the teaching of ethics or ethical principles beyond ethical standards related to research methods. At the graduate level, U.S. psychology students are taught the breadth of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. However, many of our students continue in social work, counseling, nursing, other graduate programs, or international programs with their own unique ethics codes. Additionally, a rule-based approach may enhance ethical literacy but be of little use in teaching students ethical reasoning and thinking. This task force will solicit, develop, gather, and promote resources related to the teaching of ethics on the high school and undergraduate level, including guidelines related to best practices in teaching ethics.
Task Force on “Decolonizing Psychology” in Introductory Psychology
STP has many resources aimed at incorporating diversity issues into the classroom and making classrooms more inclusive. However, these materials are not focused on the teaching of introductory psychology from a perspective grounded in research/materials related to decolonization, liberation psychology, or critical psychology. This task force will solicit, gather, and promote articles, activities, lecture materials, and projects aimed at both typical chapters within an introductory psychology course as well as materials aimed at more general decolonizing approaches to teaching the class.
Task Force on Teaching Psychology and Climate Change
For many of our students, climate change is an abstract concept with seemingly little significance to their daily lives. Yet, it represents an existential threat to the lives of many around the globe, with immediate ramifications in terms of economics, displacement of persons and peoples, increased risk for global violence, and future pandemics. Psychology plays a vital role related to climate on many fronts from beliefs and attitudes about climate change to behavior change regarding conservation to psychosocial and mental health consequences of the climate crisis. This task force with solicit, gather, and promote resources related to integrating issues of climate into psychology courses; promotion of psychological research related to climate/sustainability; and teaching about human rights, social justice aspects (e.g., structural and institutional aspects of climate policy), and the mitigation and human adaptation of individuals and communities to climate change. The task force also will make sustainability recommendations to STP.
Continuation of the work of the Task Force on Integration of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and International Initiatives Across STP
In 2020, the DEI task force began work under the initiative of Amy Fineburg and continued under the guidance of Susan Nolan. Much work has been completed but it is an ongoing endeavor. The task force is exploring a variety of recommendations based on assessment of structural issues within STP, such as integration of DEI and internationalization across the organizational structure as opposed to the current siloed approach, as well as the creation of affinity groups. A Color Paper will be issued soon, which will articulate current task force findings and recommendations. As such, much of the work of the task force in the next year will relate to implementation of proposed actions.
I hope many of you will get involved!