Education Leadership Conference

Diversity in all its forms deserves more attention in psychology education and training, said presenters at APA's Education Leadership Conference (ELC), Sept. 16-18, in Arlington, Va.

The annual meeting gathers together leaders from accreditation, teaching, administration, psychology training, academic departments and other areas to discuss the field's pressing education and training issues. Attendees also learn about important federal policy initiatives affecting psychology and education, and visit members of Congress to encourage their support of psychology-friendly legislation.

The first day of the 2005 Education Leadership Conference offered two panel sessions followed by opportunities for dialogue among conference participants. The first session, on epistemological diversity in psychology, was followed by a town hall meeting, while the second, on individual and cultural diversity in the context of teaching and learning, lead into a series of concurrent breakout groups. These groups discussed the implications of diversity and how they could host difficult dialogues about diversity in the context of their classroom teaching, practice supervision, research training and academic administration duties.

The second day of the conference began with a session on organizational diversity in psychology, a brief history of which was given by APA President Ronald F. Levant, EdD. His presentation was followed by breakout groups on psychology's organizational diversity issues in accreditation, teaching and learning, psychology organizations external to APA, psychology organizations internal to APA, and organizations within and outside APA related to applications of psychology to education.

"The demographics in society and in our discipline are changing and we are increasingly a global society," said APA Executive Director for Education Cynthia Belar, PhD, in her opening remarks. "Psychology needs to stay current, or it will be marginalized."

Indeed, APA's Education Directorate planned the conference as a springboard for educators to discuss how the field's many groups can not only be more prepared for America's increasing racial, ethnic and cultural diversity but also become more understanding of their diverse colleagues.

-D. Smith Bailey