Cover Story

Graduate students seeking a new take on teaching introductory psychology will find a wealth of ideas at the convention's annual G. Stanley Hall Lecture Series, in which presenters explain how their basic research is advancing the teaching of psychology.

Named for psychology pioneer and first APA President Granville Stanley Hall (1844-1924), the lectures are sponsored annually by APA's Education Directorate and co-sponsored by APA's Division 2 (Society for the Teaching of Psychology) and the Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology.

This year's lecturers will cover topics educators can broach with students as well as how they can improve their teaching.

"The redemptive self: generativity and the stories Americans live by."

Friday, July 30, 10 a.m.

Dan P. McAdams, PhD

Northwestern University

McAdams studies the relationship of generativity-psychologist Erik Erikson's term to describe adults' drive to promote the well-being of future generations by giving of themselves and leaving some psychosocial gifts behind-and narratives, the stories people tell others to explain the development of their personalities and to give their lives meaning and purpose.

He will discuss how middle-aged Americans' redemptive stories-in which an individual eventually escapes suffering and evolves into an enhanced emotional state-reflect a concern with making positive contributions to society.


"Why do we need what we need? Searching for the motive beneath the motives."

Saturday, July 31, 10 a.m.

Tom Pyszczynski, PhD

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

People's need to make living meaningful, create favorable self-images and enhance relationships with other people may also serve the purpose of dampening existential worry, finds Pyszczynski. He co-developed terror-management theory, the idea that humans impute meaning to experience to blunt anxiety over the inevitability of mortality.

In his talk, Pyszczynski will review research revealing that death anxiety has a surprising amount of influence over behaviors that seem unrelated to death.


"Teaching about race and ethnicity: focus on ideas and human beings."

Saturday, July 31, 11 a.m.

Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Daniel uses a variety of teaching techniques to bring diversity issues to life in the classroom. She often couples academic topics with live presentations or documentaries in which individuals share their real-life experiences with students.

Daniel will explain that psychology will increasingly need specialists-educators, practitioners, researchers and policy-makers-who realize the importance of conveying accurate information about race and ethnicity to an ever-changing nation.

 

"The aims of education."

Friday, July 30, at 11 a.m.

Jill Reich, PhD

Bates College

Reich's talk will serve as the series' Harry Kirke Wolfe Lecture, named after another pioneering American psychologist.

In her talk, Reich will invite the audience to consider what it is that educators do when they teach students. Education is more than instilling facts, figures and theories, she will argue-teachers must display a critical and curious mind, knowledge about subject matter and skill in transforming thoughts into actions to develop students into interested and independent thinkers.

Reich will posit that teachers must develop-and continue to develop-their own habits of mind at the same time they try to instill these skills into students.

Each of the 2004 G. Stanley Hall speakers will also present their talks at a regional psychology conference next year.