Junior University, teaching psychology to under 16s
Teaching psychology this year to the under 16s in and around the University of Central Lancashire has been a challenge and a joy. The focus of the lessons was to deliver them in an interactive way in an effort to keep the attention of all students, especially those who’s attention wavers over long periods. I noticed that the more gory the story (phineas gage/ gerbils and anxiolytic drugs) the more reactive the students became and also the more interactive (obedience, EEG, social influence) the more excited they become. These insights led to the adaptation of some material and introduction of new subjects to capitalise on what seemed to be the most interesting.
The students particularly loved the pretend EEG (shower cap, cables, video output on a student), social influence “mind reading”, Milgram’s mock up experiment where one student delivers shock and one screams (obviously no electricity involved) cognitive tasks, perception imagery, Dr Rumbaugh’s animal language and the narcissistic (sense of self) dolphins topics.
Inspiration was drawn from many areas of my study including historical accounts of the behaviours of Hitler and Stalin along with Milgram’s studies, recent animal behaviour documentaries and popular entertainer Derren Brown all together with psychological and technical explanations as to why these and many other things happen.