Teaching Psychology

The psychological science department faculty are a group of scholars, all of whom have earned a doctoral degree, dedicated to the art of teaching well and to developing and testing research questions that, in turn, advance the content of their courses and their field. All of their endeavors, inside and outside the classroom, are student-centered. Best practices in teaching are studied and practiced to maximize effective retention and application of material by students, and best practices in research are applied to teach students the process of discovery regarding the origins of behavior.

Our faculty not only attend research-oriented conferences sponsored by flagship organizations in our field, such as the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science, but also conferences that focus on the teaching of psychology, such as the National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology and the Society for the Teaching of Psychology Teaching Institute. Connecting with our discipline via the maintenance of active research programs and up-to-date information on teaching practices makes our faculty particularly well-prepared in a variety of learning situations.

Those learning situations are, typically, classes with smaller enrollments which allow for greater one-on-one interaction between the instructor and each student. Typically, our classes contain twenty-five students, although our classes often contain fewer students. For example, our upper-level research-focused and seminar courses usually contain sixteen students. Availability of one’s instructor outside the classroom is typical as well. We have an “open-door policy” with respect to our time outside the classroom. If a door is open, a student may walk through it, whether that door is open during walk-in office hours or not. Furthermore, we are not only available to discuss course work, but also course selection, career preparation, or life after UMW.

By selecting the UMW Psychological Science Department as their academic home, students get an excellent faculty who care about teaching and research and, importantly, care about nurturing our students’ intellectual, academic, and professional development.

Here is a sample online lecture from award-winning teacher, Dr. Miriam Liss.

Cognitive Dissonance from Miriam Liss on Vimeo.