November 20, 2008

Psychology Majors Share Their Experiences with Local Students

Suzanne Manning ’09 writes about running ‘Teach Psychology’ day at Easton Area High School

Psychology major Suzanne Manning ’09 (Trumbull, Conn.) and other members of Lafayette’s chapter of Psi Chi, the national honor society for psychology, organized a “Teach Psychology” day at Easton Area High School in October. Teams of students discussed psychology as a scientific discipline with seven sections of psychology classes throughout the day. Alan Childs, professor of psychology, serves as Psi Chi faculty adviser.

I had an absolutely wonderful experience as a student teacher for “Psi Chi Teach Psychology” day. Members of Psi Chi volunteered as student teachers to work with the AP psychology classes at Easton Area High School.

I coordinated with the AP psychology teacher at the high school, and she was very enthusiastic about our visit to her classes. I created an interactive and engaging presentation that described what it was like to be a psychology major at Lafayette. There was information about the different courses available in psychology, the types of material studied, and special opportunities that are available to psychology majors, such as conducting research with professors.

The presentation also covered what career paths and opportunities are available to psychology majors after graduation. The students were particularly intrigued by the “Left Brain or Right Brain” quiz that was included in the presentation. Our main goal was to show that psychology is fun and can be applied to many different aspects of everyday life.

The students really gave their full attention to the material in the presentation and asked some fantastic questions, including how we became interested in studying psychology, and what we plan to do with our majors. Many of these students are seniors who will be going to college next year, and I think they really benefited from the information we provided. It was really encouraging to see their faces light up when we talked about an interesting study or theory, or the different paths one can take with in psychology. Some even told us afterward that they were thinking about majoring in psychology.

The student teachers did an excellent job adding their own personal stories and anecdotes to make the presentation more interesting. This event was a great way for Psi Chi members to actively participate and their share their enthusiasm for psychology with others.

After graduation, I plan on attending graduate school and obtaining a masters degree in social work. I hope to pursue a clinical path and work with people in therapy and group sessions. This experience definitely influenced my future plans. I think working with a teenage population would be really rewarding and interesting.

These students have so much to offer, which was demonstrated by their insightful questions. After the presentation was over, some even took the time to personally come up and thank us for coming. I definitely plan on organizing another “Psi Chi Teaching Day” at the high school next semester. It was really well received and a great experience for everyone.

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