Unit 11 - Teaching of Psychology and Culture

All units and articles in the ORPC are designed to deal with relatively independent topics across a broad spectrum of psychological research, theory, and everyday applications, to give an overview of the state of art, but also to serve for teaching purposes. This unit 11 is exclusively designed to information about Teaching. There is some information on the IACCP homepage (IACCP.org) – included are course syllabi and a list of institutions that feature courses or programs that were designed to be part of the psychological curricula of many colleges and universities throughout the world – and we plan to integrate this information into this section in the near future. We have created a tentative structure for this unit that consists of four main parts.

Subunit 11.1: Reflections about Teaching of Psychology and Culture. The first article, by W. J. Lonner and E. Murdock gives an overview of an ongoing project involving the extent to which “culture” is covered in a wide range of popular introductory texts in psychology.

Subunit 11.2: Books, Journal Articles, and Monographs Useful to the Teaching of Psychology and Culture. We will identify various types of routinely-published material that instructors should find useful and/or direct readers to lists that are currently available. Rather than merely listing them, we will provide brief descriptions and overviews of what we consider to be the most relevant items. Included, we hope, will be invited commentaries by the authors of the material that we cite. We will occasionally update such offerings, primarily because there is a constant stream of such resources.

Subunit 11.3: Case Studies, Critical Incidents and Ethical Dilemmas. Popular and proven ways to emphasize a point or explain culture-related phenomena include real-life case studies (without disclosing real names). This may include Youtube videos. Case studies might focus, for example, on such things as intercultural adjustment problems, difficulties encountered in schools and the workplace, marriage difficulties brought about by cultural differences, and so forth. Highly related to real-life case studies is the material involved in the so-called “Critical Incidents” technique. The critical incident technique was made popular in books by Cushner and Brislin that dealt with intercultural interactions. Critical incidents, fabricated to illustrate hypothetical problems often encountered in real life, deal with a broad range of issues that involve “critical” (i.e. difficult, confrontational, confusing, etc.) encounters with people from other cultures. Another possible feature might embrace discussions of ethical dilemmas encountered by culture-oriented psychologists in their research in other societies and cultures. Many researchers have experienced difficulties in conducting research in other cultures, and many of these difficulties involve ethical issues that must be resolved. For instance, should a particular set of questions designed for use in a number of cultures be used among people who are completely unfamiliar with such things? Discussing such material in various classes could be both instructive and cautionary, especially for anyone who may be contemplating research in the area and may be encountering problems that impinge on cultural realities of an ethical or moral nature.

Subunit 11.4: Lectures, Anecdotes, Exercises, and Demonstrations will be a clearinghouse for a variety of items that instructors submit for consideration. Included will be favorite lectures on different topics, anecdotes that will be helpful in clarifying concepts and ideas, sharing with others various classroom exercises and demonstrations that have proven to be effective, and classroom projects that will engage the students. Experiences abroad that have been enlightening regarding psychology and culture, and perhaps even occasional photos, might be included. Movies, both educational and popular, might also be listed and briefly described, together with information about obtaining them for use.

Subunit 1
Reflections about Teaching of Psychology and Culture

Subunit 4
Lectures, Anecdotes, Exercises, and Demonstrations