Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Zimbardo cancels NCSS appearance - but vows to be there next year

I was disappointed to learn from Daria Schaffeld yesterday that one of the favorite psychologists of high school psychology teachers everywhere - the one and only Dr. Philip Zimbardo - would be unable to attend the National Council for the Social Studies conference in Denver in November. I was unable to attend the conference but on behalf of saddened HSPTs I contacted Dr. Z. to ask for more information on the cancellation.

First, the cancellation has nothing to do with any lack on enthusiasm for social studies or psychology, as Dr. Zimbardo indicated that he "has already committed to next year in DC" where the conference will be held in December 2011. The conflict has to do with the success of his new project, Heroic Imagination, which is described on its website as the realization of Dr. Philip Zimbardo's vision for an organization dedicated to creating a global community of heroes through education, research, media, and public engagement campaigns." Dr Z. will be in Mexico in November at a conference celebrating innovations in humanity where he "won their prize last year for [his] lecture on creating every day heroes." As part of that award, 50 high school students were given awards to attend the conference with Dr. Zimbardo on what he described as "establishing eco-hero projects in their schools."

What ultimately led to his withdrawal from the NCSS conference was a lack of flexibility in getting travel accommodations from Mexico to Denver. Under perfect conditions he could only get from one place to the other with minutes to spare, and given the amount of air traffic delays and cancellations these days, he knew the chances were slim of getting to the NCSS conference in time and he would most likely have had to pull out with virtually no notice with any delay.

But cheer up! First, Dr. Z. is working to make the world a better place, so who can argue with that? Second, he's committed to DC next year. And third, as Daria noted, there are already some amazing psychology sessions lined up in Denver, including these on Friday and Saturday. I look forward to hearing reports in November - please e-mail me (Steve) with your experiences! 

Psychology: Vistas, Visions, Voices, and Vital Active Learning Demonstrations with psychology teacher rock-stars Charlie Blair-Broeker (IA) and Randy Ernst (NE)

Teaching Psychology as a Journey of Discovery Using Self-Report Questionnaires with Stephen Franzoi of Marquette University

Mile-High Psychology with teachers Daria Schaffeld and Joe Geiger (IL)

Visions and Voices on Television: Making Psychology Concepts Come Alive with teacher Patricia Baima (IL) and Cynthia Prehar of Framingham State University

Classroom Motivation Knowledge and Skills for the 21st Century with Lee Morganett of Indiana University Southeast

Cross-Curricular Lesson Planning and Psychology: Reaching a 21st Century Learner with teacher Sean Tischler (DE)

A Voice from the Past—A Vision for Hope with Ted Englemann (lecturer, photographer, educator, and veteran of the war in Vietnam)

Creating and Supporting an AP Learning Community for All Students with Sabrina Ehmke, Matthew Walsh, and David Allen (IL)

Teaching Happiness, Building Global Citizens with Ellie Ford and Abigail Konopasky, Project Happiness

1 comment:

Rob Mc said...

Bummer! That's quite a loss, but thanks for the explanation Steve. I get to present at (non-psych related) poster at NCSS and I'd love to see teachinghighschoolpsych blog folks - shout out if you're going to NCSS? Maybe we can organize a meeting for a cold beverage?