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Sparking the historical imagination: Strategies for teaching Conceptual and Historical Issues in Psychology

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Abstract

Roger Smith (2000) has written, ‘The historical imagination, surely, connotes many things... High on my list is the imagination to believe that our lives, experience, and knowledge... do not circumscribe what it is possible to live, experience, or know.’ In the spirit of cultivating our students’ ‘historical imagination,’ we introduce a number of activities and assignments that can be used both within the history of psychology course and across the psychology curriculum. We focus specifically on the novel ways disciplinary knowledge can be contextualised to equip students to question the universality and essentialism with which they are typically confronted in their psychology training. These strategies are a means of rendering psychology, past and present, both more personally meaningful and socially relevant to students. The examples provided are based on our experiences developing and implementing the history of psychology course at two large, public, urban universities in Canada over the past 10 years. They are informed by this multicultural milieu, as well as by our own orientations as feminist/gender historians. We include examples of imaginative classroom activities (‘The Case of Country X’ and ‘Speed Dating with a Psychologist’) and course assignments (‘Internationalising Psychology,’ ‘Imagined Conversations’, and ‘Graphic Novels’). In as much as we describe specific ways to engage students’ historical imagination, we also seek to spark the imagination of instructors to create their own exercises inspired by these examples.
... 1363) In other words, we need to help students uncover how knowledge is conceived, conceptualized, and disseminated from certain viewpoints and within larger contexts. A historical perspective thus becomes a highly effective method for providing a multicultural focus (Young, Rodkey, & Rutherford, 2015). Goodwin (2013) reminded us that when taught well, the History of Psychology course allows students to "understand the intellectual and cultural foundations of the discipline . . . ...
Chapter
This chapter draws upon contemporary critical approaches to the theory and method of writing history to offer tools for incorporating diversity into the history of psychology curriculum and classroom. We outline the benefits of an active learning, perspective-transforming approach to teaching history and present a sample of resources – including articles, texts, and digital collections – that can be used to facilitate such teaching and learning. We highlight the importance of critical reflection on the traditional disciplinary narratives of psychology and how these narratives change with the incorporation of multiple voices and diverse perspectives
... Los cursos de historia de la psicología que asumen una perspectiva historiográfica crítica -que considera la disciplina como un conjunto heterogéneo de teorías y prácticas indisociables de los contextos socioculturales particulares, en los cuales emergen y se desarrollan-contribuyen al fomento del pensamiento crítico, ya que estos promueven el cuestionamiento de la universalidad y del esencialismo de teorías y conceptos psicológicos (Danziger, 1991;Kaulino, 2015;Mülberger, 2014;Rosa Rivero, 2008;Rose, 1996;Smith, 2010). Asimismo, la enseñanza de la historia desde una perspectiva crítica permite sensibilizar a lo/as estudiantes acerca de la diversidad étnica y de género (Rutherford, 2013;Young, Rodkey, & Rutherford, 2015); además estimula el desarrollo del pensamiento teórico (Lamont, 2010) y de competencias clínicas (Buchanan, 2002). ...
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El artículo describe el estado actual de la formación en historia de la psicología en Chile, focalizando el análisis en dieciocho programas de cursos de historia de la psicología y otros equivalentes dictados en el país. Los resultados indican que el campo se ha ampliado y fortalecido institucionalmente, siguiendo la tendencia observada en otros países como Argentina y Brasil. Con relación a los cursos de historia de la psicología, en Chile estos siguen teniendo presencia en la mayoría de las mallas curriculares de pregrado, representando una oportunidad para el desarrollo del pensamiento crítico de psicólogo/as que deben enfrentarse a contextos de creciente complejidad. Sin embargo, se observa que en la enseñanza de la historia de la psicología persisten los enfoques historiográficos tradicionales. El artículo concluye argumentando que la modificación de esta tendencia es determinante para el futuro de una historia de la psicología que no renuncie a ampliar su audiencia e impacto en el interior de la disciplina.
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