Striving for excellence: Challenges and tensions of teaching behavioural science to a large class of diverse disciplines
Darlaston-Jones, D. (2006). Striving for excellence: Challenges and tensions of teaching behavioural science to a large class of diverse disciplines. Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Forum 2006.
Teaching a large class is challenging in any situation, but the complexity is increased exponentially when trying to make the content relevant to students from a diverse range of disciplines. Up to 480 students enrol in a Behavioural Science unit (PS100 Developmental Psychology) in first semester. Students are enrolled in a diverse range of disciplines including nursing, education, counselling, physiotherapy and biomedicine. Each of these discipline areas require a broad understanding of human development to be an integral component of their degree structure but the application of this knowledge post-graduation might take many different forms. Managing a cohort of this size and achieving relevance for the students requires innovation and creativity to balance the tension between academic rigour and student satisfaction. This presentation discusses the ways in which this unit has been developed in trying to achieve these aims, the ongoing challenges to be overcome and the logistics involved in achieving positive outcomes for the students.