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Resources for Inclusive Teaching in Psychology
The emphasis on cultural diversity and inclusion is an area the field of psychology has researched for many years now. Universities have incorporated diversity at both the department and course levels. Many offer standalone courses, however, these courses are not necessarily required for students. Instructors in psychology spend a fair amount of time discussing diversity and creating inclusive environments, but it does take training in order for faculty and graduate students to feel comfortable addressing these issues in their classrooms.
Common instructional methods include discussion, reading assignments, and lectures on diversity. It is important for the instructor to create a safe learning environment for emotionally charged conversations, and to also work on their own self-awareness and competencies when it comes to diversity and inclusion. The research below helps give recommendations for curriculum structure as well as how to improve individual courses and assist instructors’ comfort levels. Lastly, it is essential for future psychology professionals to reduce bias and learn cultural diversity for their own practices and research.
MSU psychology faculty, Isis Settles, has conducted research on how women and minorities who face sexual harassment and discrimination in academia due to a lack of effective leadership and awareness of cultural diversity suffer from more mental health problems and lower job satisfaction. Isis has also conducted research on how to alleviate these issues and places an emphasis on mentoring strategies for women and faculties of color. A select number of her articles are also below.
MSU Researcher Highlight
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Databases & Terms Searched: The two main databases consulted in order to begin this list were PsycInfo and SAGE Journals Online. To yield more targeted results, the keywords “learning environment,” “pedagogy,” and “education” were used to center the search on instruction and curricula. Pairing this search with keywords including “cultural diversity,” “multicultural,” “critical pedagogy,” and “cultural sensitivity” additionally proved helpful. Subject searching for “cross cultural psychology” and “sociocultural factors” also produced a variety of useful results. We found that “inclusive teaching” as a search phrase often refers specifically to K-12 special education settings.
Themes: Inclusive pedagogy is a central facet to current psychology education literature. Research on inclusive pedagogy aims to support faculty in creating effective and inclusive learning environments, as well as to prepare students for their future practice. Central themes related to inclusive teaching in psychology include intersectional feminism, multiculturalism, integration of international perspectives and students, faculty multicultural competencies, and poverty and social class.
Relevant Journals: Teaching of Psychology
Psychology Learning and Teaching
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Journal of Black Psychology
Feminism & Psychology
Environment and Behavior
Training and Education in Professional Psychology
Ahluwalia, M. K., Ayala, S. I., Locke, A. F., & Nadrich, T. (2019). Mitigating the “powder keg”: The experiences of faculty of color teaching multicultural competence. Teaching of Psychology, 46(3), 187–196.
Arczynski, A. V., Christensen, M. C., & Hoover, S. M. (2018). Fostering critical feminist multicultural qualitative research mentoring. The Counseling Psychologist, 46(8), 954–978.
Canetto, S. S. (2019). Teaching about women and gender from a transnational and intersectional feminist perspective. International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation, 8(3), 144-160.
Carlson, W., & Witschey, H. (2018). Undergraduate students’ attitudes toward individuals with disabilities: Integrating psychology disability curriculum and service-learning. Teaching of Psychology, 45(2), 189–192
Fuentes, M. A., & Shannon, C. R. (2016). The state of multiculturalism and diversity in undergraduate psychology training. Teaching of Psychology, 43(3), 197-203.
Hilert, A. J., & Tirado, C. (2018). Teaching multicultural counseling with mindfulness: A contemplative pedagogy approach. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 1-12.
Kite, M. E., & Littleford, L. N. (2015). Teaching about diversity across the undergraduate psychology curriculum Oxford University Press, New York, NY.
Mena, J. A. & Quina, K. (Eds.). (2019). Integrating multiculturalism and intersectionality into the psychology curriculum: strategies for instructors. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (Request book through Faculty Delivery)
Mena, J. A., & Rogers, M. R. (2017). Factors associated with multicultural teaching competence: Social justice orientation and multicultural environment. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 11(2), 61-68.
Settles, I. H., O’Connor, R. C., & Yap, S. C. Y. (2016). Climate perceptions and identity interference among undergraduate women in STEM: The protective role of gender identity. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 40(4), 488–503.