Tuesday, July 11, 2017

APA Psychology Summit Day 3

Today's post will be quite a bit shorter than the last two. Today was work and more work. We had no special speakers or illustrious guests outside of the outstanding group of people who are here. As I write this, it is 10:45 pm local time. After dinner, we have had shuttle buses taking us back to the campus. After several hours of work with our groups, most of us are knackered. Despite our sleepiness, even many of us who were up early continued so many important conversations.

I cannot emphasize how important these conversations are. Imagine you are passionate about some topic. Now fill a room with 70+ people who are just as passionate about your topic. Then give all of them experiences worth sharing to other individuals and groups. There is no real "down time" for most of us here. We get up, begin talking with others about something psych or summit-related. Then we have breakfast, talk some more, and move to our strand groups to work on our goals, our deliverables, and our recommendations to the APA regarding our topics. As a reminder, here are our strands:
  1. Psychology as Science
  2. Skills that Improve Flourishing and Well-Being
  3. National Standards for High School Psychology Education
  4. Assessing Skills and Content in Psychology
  5. Identifying and Credentialing High School Psychology Teachers
  6. Ongoing Professional Development
  7. Diversity and Access
  8. Technology and Online Learning
As you can imagine, each strand bleeds over into another. Of course, you realize that if you are talking about psychology as a science, you need to discuss what the standards are going to look like. If you are on assessing skills and content, that connects to not only the standards but which skills? How do those skills relate to the other sciences and the skills they develop? If we are going to add the teaching of skills to an introductory psychology course, how will we help teachers learn what the skills are and how to teach them--oh, we need to talk with the professional development strand. One question gets asked often in psychology is, "why are sp many of the people we are studying dead, white men?" So let's talk to the diversity and access strand about their research and recommendations about what diversity is, how diverse the fields of  teaching and psychology are, and how to increase diversity both in research (researchers and research subjects) and in teaching (why do we not have people of color in the American teaching profession? What can we do to change that?) What can/should we do to have teaching and psychology look more like the face of our citizenry?

Now take those questions, multiply them by at least 50 for each strand and things start to get quite complex. Most or all of the strands have subdivided in order to cover more ground and create a more substantive set of recommendations. Each group has its own rationale. Each group needs to talk with and work with other groups to find out directions and decisions being made. It's a human spiderweb of interactions.

Did I mention that there was a freshman orientation on campus this morning? Or how the mountains are looking so inviting? Suffice it to say there are many distractions being in this beautiful party of the country, but passion is overcoming distraction for nearly all of us (I will never be definitive when it comes to human behavior--there are always exceptions to generalizations). It was said during the week that we are really running eight different conferences this week-one for each strand. Other contend that the number is really greater than that with the subgroups. Other say there are even more because of all the sharing of ideas and experiences. Perhaps we are having eight primary conferences and hundreds of tertiary conferences. In any case, cognitive load is taking its toll and we are tired. I'm going to upload a few pictures, post this link to social media, and go to bed. Good night all!

25th St, Downtown Ogden before dinner

Zucca Tratoria Italian Restaurant for Dinner
Sunset Over Ogden (pic credit Schallhorn)

Sunset over Ogden (picture credit Schaffield)

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

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