Undergraduate Education in Psychology: A Blueprint for the Future of the Discipline

Major factors are changing the landscape of undergraduate education in psychology. Changes in education, the workplace, health care, and everyday life point to an increase in psychology s importance as a core academic discipline and as a service discipline for other majors in the 21st century. In fact, many of the problems currently facing Americans and people in other countries heart disease, cancer, drug addictions, racism, environmental pollution, violence and terrorism, and child abuse have behavioral and cognitive causes. Graduates with psychology degrees must be prepared to address these problems. As the popularity of the psychology major and psychology classes continues to increase, faculty and administrators have the responsibility to teach the skills, knowledge, and values necessary to succeed in today s world. They must foster critical thinking and provide a solid foundation of core psychological principles and content areas. Furthermore, they must convey both the scientific nature and the practical application of psychology. This book examines recent changes in our undergraduate students and faculty; in our knowledge about how people learn; in our understanding of diversity; and in our beliefs about what our students need to know to be psychologically literate citizens of the world, caring family members, and productive workers who can meet today s challenges. With practical recommendations in every chapter, this book will help teachers and administrators design the most effective undergraduate psychology programs using the best modes of teaching for the coming decades.