History of Psychology
First of all, this is a fun course.
No......, really. But
since it is upper division, it relies heavily on previous knowledge
gained through exposure to introductory psychology as well as the
prerequisite 6 additional upper division units in psychology.
The assumption here is that very few (virtually none) of the
general topics we discuss will be completely new.
This enables us to dive quite a bit deeper into the subject
matter and explore connections between the individual areas of
psychology without spending too much time rehashing old lectures.
During the semester, this course attempts to (1) review the
historical development of psychology as science; (2) survey the
contributions of individuals that were integral in determining the
"new" directions the science would take; (3) develop a view of
psychology as an integrated whole by tracing it's origins; and (4)
develop a respect and appreciation for how modern issues in psychology
have been shaped by thousands of years of history and philosophy.
Along the way, there are opportunities to refine basic skills
such as creative and technical writing (term paper) and develop new
skills such as topic organization and presentation to others
are 3 basic techniques for teaching History of Psychology.
The first is "The Great School" approach that leads us
through our philosophical beginnings to modern day practice by grouping
individuals into "schools of thought" united by common themes,
research problems, and/or philosophical ideas.
The second approach is called "The Great Figure"
approach. The Great Figure
approach recognizes that the history of psychology (or of any great
science) is made up of thousands of individuals, some of which have made
substantial contributions along the way.
These contributions, usually in hindsight, were clearly
responsible for guiding psychology along its journey.
And the third is "The Great Ideas" approach that looks
at psychology as a series of discoveries and attempts to answer some
fundamental questions. There
are a number of advantages of each, but it is difficult to use all three
methods successfully (especially in a one semester class).
The authors of my preferred textbook use the last 2 approaches.
During lecture and for writing assignments, I emphasize the first
2 approaches. Using this
strategy, the textbook, lectures, and class assignments combine to
provide a good, solid overview of the origins of the science we call