“10 things you might not know about Psychology”
In the “Psychology and the public” section of their website, the BPS have posted a list called “10 things you might not know about Psychology”. An interesting list, including a standard definition of Psychology (“the scientific study of the mind and behaviour”), a few Psychology firsts and a selection of some of the ways that Psychology has had a major impact on wider society.
You might like to ask your students to read this list at the start of the course, perhaps as an initial homework task (as it does not require a textbook that might not have arrived in the post yet) to introduce them to the scope and impact of Psychology.
I think this list, however, could also be used to create a collaborative and reflective learning activity with the potential to interest and educate psychologists and non-psychologists.
Class list: 10 things we think everyone should know about Psychology…
Slightly adjusting the title of the list (see above) gives the starting point for this activity idea:
- At 10 review points, across the A Level course, ask students to come up with an offering to be added to your own class or cohort list based on their exposure to Psychology at that point. If the immediate specification content does not seem to produce a worthy item for the list at any given point, encourage students to draw on their own independent study and wider reading.
- You could invite all your students to submit an offering for consideration, at each review point, and these submissions could be short-listed for a vote to decide which one makes it onto the list. Those making the short-list could be asked to make a brief persuasive speech to their class arguing why everyone should know this piece of information.
- Display the list at all stages in its progress to enable students to see how their knowledge of and experience with Psychology is developing.
This activity should enable students to reflect on their developing and changing knowledge about Psychology, collaborate and share this learning with others, whilst creating a meaningful interactive wall-display for the Psychology classroom or better still a public space.
Alternatively ask all students to write their own list and then collaborate to produce one master list. Students will have to make a case for their items to be included and negotiate with their peers to complete the task efficiently.
Thinking ahead: Open evening
Aim for a complete set of 10 items for your Sixth Form Open Evening event and the displayed list will also help to inform potential Psychologists when making their A Level choices.