The 6th International Conference on Psychology Education (ICOPE6)


Warmest welcome to friends, old and new, who are here today! As noted at our first gathering in St. Petersburg, Russia over a decade ago, psychologists are different in their approaches and research interests. Experimental psychology, biological psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, personality, individual differences, statistics, research methods, and numerous other specific areas are specialties for teachers of psychology. How psychology is viewed and practiced around the world, as well as the training and educational backgrounds of those of us teaching psychology vary greatly. Educational systems, funding mechanisms, teaching goals and accreditation standards also vary greatly. Recently, however, due to changing technology, increased communication and a growing focus on peace and sustainability for our world, we all begin to have a lot in common. The joy we find in teaching future generations of psychologists as stewards for our planet, along with the need to improve human relations and international understanding while offering support in terms of information, connections and resources to improve teaching for all of us who share this vision, is what began the International Conferences of Psychology Educators (ICOPE) nearly 20 years ago.

ICOPE started as part of the American Psychological Association Division 2 Psychology Partnerships Project (P3), led by Virginia Mathie and Jane Halonen at James Madison University. The International Partnerships Committee of P3 was chaired by Ann Ewing, of the Maricopa County Community College System’s Psychology Department at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona and Frank Hollingsworth, who was then President of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPPS) connected to Division 2. At the time, I served on the P3 International Partnerships Committee, and was Division 2’s liaison to APA’s Council of International Relations in Psychology (CIRP). I had recently “met,” via the relatively new electronic communication beginning to be available to educational institutions around the world, a professor in Northern Russia named Victor Karandashev. He contacted CIRP for information about how psychology was taught in the U.S., and was referred to me. That initial contact, and the camaraderie that developed between us as we realized we were teaching many of the same things, with many of the same goals, half a world apart, led to ICOPE’s sustained success over the last two decades and to the conference you are attending. Over the years, the Fulbright Association and many psychology associations and universities around the world played a part in developing this network of psychology educators.

Victor Karandashev organized ICOPE’s 1st and 3rd conferences in lovely St. Petersburg, Russia held June, 2002 and July, 2008. Other organizers of previous gatherings including our 2nd conference in Brazil in July, 2005, and 4th in Australia during July, 2010, are also here. Several of the keynote speakers you hear at this conference have been with ICOPE from the beginning. Others joined along the way. If you are interested, the conference website includes a brief history. At the first conference, based on input of attendees, we established the goal of bringing ICOPE to each inhabited continent where psychology was taught, improving teaching and the discipline by reaching out to psychology faculty there. This seemed to be a valuable way to introduce more people to our goals, and to allow all of us to better understand how psychology is taught around the world. Thus, ICOPE-6 is a very important occasion, as we reach our final continent today! It is also monumentous because, although we have sustained ourselves informally for nearly two decades, we are now at last ready to adopt a formal constitution and organizational structure and permanently affiliate with the International Union of Psychological Sciences as Division 42, International Teaching of Psychology. Saths Cooper, Nick Hammond, Ann Watts and many of the current leaders in IUPsyS have been instrumental in helping us achieve this. At this conference, we plan to solidify the connection officially. Please attend our first business meeting during the conference at 3:50 p.m. on August 5. Help us elect new leaders to continue what we have begun. Become one of those leaders yourself!

In the future, our conferences will be held as part of IUPsyS, as in South Africa at our last gathering in 2014. Our next meeting will be with IUPsyS in Japan during 2016, and we hope to see many of you and your students there! Students are the most important ingredient in our conferences, as they guide psychology into the future. We hope you find here at ICOPE-6 not only good ideas to improve your teaching, but also wonderful colleagues and friends with whom you will continue to collaborate for the rest of your careers. To facilitate this, we have included a list of attendees registered by July 1 with institutional affiliations and email addresses at the end of this program. Please maintain contact with those you find here that share your particular interests and develop collaborative research among your students. That informal, personal interaction is what maintains our group!

In the interest of becoming “paperless” to sustain trees and the environment, all of the submitted abstracts for conference sessions listed here are linked electronically to the conference webpage in the on-line program. This brief program is for your convenience to carry with you as you attend. You may submit it to your institution as proof of attendance when you return home. If you need a certificate of attendance for continuing education credit documentation or for your institutional requirements, please let someone at the registration desk know to sign and validate a certificate.

If you need more information about sessions as you decide which to attend, you can refer to the abstracts linked to the electronic program via your smart phone, laptop or one of the computers available at the conference center. After the conference, proceeds will be solicited, selected and published in a forthcoming internationally-released book, Teaching Psychology around the World, Volume 4 (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016). You are also encouraged to submit papers based on your work to Psychology Learning and Teaching, International Journal of Psychology or Teaching of Psychology, excellent scholarly journals that our participants have had some of the work presented at previous ICOPE conferences featured within. I will provide more information to you after the conference about these options. For now, I am so happy you are with us as we solidify ICOPE as an organization to bring into the future. It is an idea whose time as come, and I am so glad you are a part of helping us bring psychological literacy to people around the world in a contextually appropriate manner to assist in developing self-understanding, clarifying social values, improving health and maintaining peace and sustainability for our fragile planet!

I offer a heartfelt thank you to each of you for attending and helping us further this goal. Namaste. In Lak’ech. Mitakuye Oyasin.

Professor Sherri McCarthy, ICOPE Co-founder and Citizen of the World

Message from Chair, NAU Department of Psychological Sciences

On behalf of the NAU Department of Psychological Sciences, I would like to extend a heartfelt welcome to local, national, and international attendees of the 6th International Conference on Psychology Education. The missions of ITOP and the ICOPE conference align closely with NAU’s priorities regarding the importance of integrating international perspectives into curricula across our university. Indeed, the focus of this year’s conference, psychological literacy, teaching, learning design, and assessment, are topics that are of great interest and importance to the delivery and impact of psychology curriculum. We feel especially privileged to host this conference and we are grateful to our colleagues Dr. Laurie Dickson and Dr. Sherri McCarthy (NAU College of Education) for helping to bring this outstanding conference to NAU and to several members of our department for serving on the program committee. Thank you for bringing your experience, expertise, and enthusiasm for teaching to this conference. We hope that you also have ample opportunity to experience the beauty of Flagstaff and northern Arizona!

Heidi A. Wayment, Ph.D, Professor