Applying Psychology Disciplinary Knowledge to Psychology Teaching and Learning: A review of selected psychological research and theory with implications for teaching practice

This report explores how psychology research, theory and knowledge can be and has been applied to learning and teaching in psychology, with the aim of enabling more effective application of such disciplinary knowledge to psychological teaching practice.

Because of this focus it is not a comprehensive overview of every psychological theory or knowledge base with implications for psychological teaching, but a brief outline of some key theories that have inspired or fed into psychology teaching or have the potential to do so. Its target audience is psychology teaching staff within the UK university sector, but it may be of interest to educators in different disciplines, sectors and countries.

The report begins with a brief discussion of the nature of research-informed teaching practice, and the opportunities it offers, as well as reasons for its disuse (including the tacit nature of much practitioner knowledge, and lack of ownership of innovations). Research-informed teaching in psychology is then focused on, and particular barriers to the application of psychology theory and research to teaching are discussed. Problem-driven and knowledge driven approaches to the application of psychological knowledge to practice are described, and their strengths and weaknesses delineated.

The main body of the report is an overview of a variety of psychological theories and research findings with pedagogical applications, highlighting implications of this knowledge and research to psychology teaching practice. Selected examples of the application of this knowledge to practice can be found throughout this section, boxed to make them easier to find. The report concludes with a call for evaluation of the effectiveness of research-informed teaching practice, and for psychology practitioners to share their own such teaching practice.

Publisher: LTSN Psychology Report and Evaluation Series, The Higher Education Academy Psychology Network


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