Teaching psychology requires us to wear many hats, often simultaneously. We must encourage students to hold themselves, each other, and us to the highest standards, while also remaining mindful of our humanness. We must motivate students to participate in research even as they practice the art of clinical work. We must offer students the knowledge necessary for effective and ethical practice in the profession, while also providing the tools and inspiration to question what is “known.”
Questioning “knowledge” may also be one of the most interesting parts of my job. There is the knowledge that forms the basis of interventions deemed to be safe and effective, and then there is the new knowledge that is constantly being produced. As a teacher, I must sort and sift information, seeking balance between competing perspectives. As a constructivist, I tend to be mindful of this process, and ask myself questions such as: Why I am making the choices that I make in the classroom? Why am I choosing these particular readings? How much lecture should I include? How much discussion? Are any points of view being privileged or dampened in the classroom? I strongly encourage my students to question their experience in the same way.
Though many schools talk about social responsibility, Adler truly “walks the talk.” Our students are actively involved in the community through our Community Service Practicum, and community-centered issues are integrated throughout curricula. Furthermore, students, faculty, and staff have numerous opportunities to become involved in research, outreach, and public education with the Adler University Institutes and Centers. It all makes Adler an exciting place to be as a teacher or a student.