Tag Archives: SHP

Extra, Extra! Bonus Content from HoP on Teaching Diversity

This month the Society for the History of Psychology (Division 26 of the American Psychological Association) offers a special virtual issue of the journal History of Psychology. Entitled “Teaching Diversity: What can History Offer?” this hop-150free volume includes three pieces selected and introduced by Division President Alexandra Rutherford which “address gender, race/ethnicity, and the intersection of sexuality and disability in historical perspective” in order to highlight “that historical scholarship offers a rich and often untapped resource for instructors who wish to engage students in critical conversations about diversity issues across the psychology curriculum.” Rutherford’s introduction “outline[s] how these articles can be incorporated into courses across the curriculum to deepen students’ understanding of how psychology and psychologists have grappled with these issues and how historical analyses can inform contemporary topics and debates.”

The conclusion to Rutherford’s introductory article provides a concise synopsis of how this special issue can be a resource for the promotion of socially responsible  pedagogical values in psychology, and their application in the classroom:

“The articles featured here to encourage the use of historical scholarship across the psychology curriculum demonstrate how history can facilitate forms of critical thinking that have the potential to make students better scholars and better psychologists. By encountering historical analyses that provoke critical questions about the relationship between science and culture, science and politics, and science and society, students develop the capacity to examine the preexisting assumptions that may creep uncritically into contemporary research. They develop the capacity to examine the role that psychology, as a powerful scientific and social institution, plays in our everyday lives. There is no reason that the development of these skills should be undertaken only in the history of psychology course. I hope this introduction has provided some ideas about how to use history to achieve critical learning objectives across the curriculum.”

Authors, titles, and abstracts are as follows:

Stephanie A. Shields, at Pennsylvania State University, writes on “Passionate men, emotional women: Psychology constructs gender difference in the late 19th century.” Here is the abstract: Continue reading Extra, Extra! Bonus Content from HoP on Teaching Diversity

“Laboratory Babies” in the APA Monitor

The May 2011 Time Capsule section of the APA Monitor on Psychology features a piece by Ann Johnson on the development of the Minnesota Institute of Child Welfare, now the Institute of Child Development. Johnson’s focus is on the Institute’s aborted plan to open an infant laboratory where babies would live and be studied around the clock. The article recounts that,

In late 1925, Minnesota psychologist Florence Goodenough, PhD, wrote excitedly to her mentor at Stanford University, Lewis Terman, PhD, about plans to open the new Minnesota Institute of Child Welfare. As the institute’s chief research scientist, Goodenough would oversee several research projects on children and supervise graduate students. She was particularly enthusiastic about the institute’s plan for securing some very young research participants: “There will be organized an infants’ home where from six to 10 infants will be kept from birth up to the age of two or three years for observation and study. Plans for this are under way, but as yet we have no babies.”

Although plans for a Minnesota Institute of Child Welfare infant laboratory were never realized, placing babies in university-based laboratory settings was not as outlandish an idea as it might seem. At the time that plans were underway to establish a psychological infant laboratory “laboratory babies” were already in place elsewhere on the campus:

In 1914, the Minnesota Home Economics Department opened the first of two “home management houses,” sometimes called home laboratories. These were model homes in which junior- and senior-level home economics majors lived and gained hands-on practice — as well as course credit — for managing domestic tasks. In 1919, a new feature was added: a baby for each house. Working with local child welfare agencies, the home economics administrators arranged for these model homes to qualify as foster-type homes for local orphan babies or other infants separated from their families. These “laboratory babies” became the subject of a 1920 article in Ladies Home Journal titled “The Baby with Forty Mothers.” The subtitle: “A University Course in Home Making with Real, Live Infants for Textbooks.”

These “laboratory babies” or “practice babies” were not unique to the University of Minnesota. From the 1910s through to the 1960s practice babies were used in “practice apartments,” meant to train women in the practices of scientific mothering, in home economics programs across the United States. Details of the use of practice babies in the Cornell University program (left) have been recently fictionalized in the book The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald. The book draws on material available in an online exhibit of the history of the Cornell home economics program. Further details on practice babies can be found in the New York Times review of Grunwald’s book, as well as in this blog post and in this NPR piece (audio available online).

The full Babes in Arms article can be read online here.

Thanks to Elissa Rodkey and the Society for the History of Psychology‘s facebook page for pointing AHP to the sources on Grunwald and the history of practice babies.

Social Media & the History of Psychology

Advances in the History of Psychology has taken the leap into social media and joined both Facebook and Twitter. You can now follow us via our Facebook page and our Twitter feed for even more on the latest developments in the history of psychology.

Those interested in even more history of psychology via social media may also want to check out the Facebook pages of the Society for the History of Psychology, Division 26 of the American Psychological Association, and the Center for the History of Psychology. Both post regularly and are great sources for unique finds in the history of psychology. The Center for the History of Psychology’s Facebook page is particularly interesting for its regular posts of archival material from its Archives of the History of American Psychology. For instance, today’s Archival Gem o’ the Day, as posted on their facebook page, is a psychoanalysis comic from 1955 (right). According to their post,

The inside cover reads: “Through the medium of comic format, we will attempt to portray, graphically and dramatically, the manner in which people find peace of mind through the science of psychoanalysis.” (Published by “Entertaining Comics.” Provenance unknown.)

Check in with their Facebook page regularly for even more archival gems. And, of course, don’t forget to follow AHP on Facebook and Twitter!

Teaching the History of Psychology

The February 2010 issue of the APA’s Monitor on Psychology contains an article on the teaching of the history of psychology. The article explores the status of history of psychology in North American psychology programs, noting that,

many educators believe the history of psychology should be required as part of every student’s training at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Studying the field’s successes and mistakes, alongside today’s emerging findings, teaches students how to think critically about psychology…

Despite this, some institutions, including Columbia University, Stanford University and Claremont McKenna College, have stopped offering a course on the history of psychology. While noting this trend in the training of psychologists, the article goes on to discuss efforts to grow the field, including the Society for the History of Psychology’s organization of a full track of history of psychology programming at the Eastern Psychological Association’s annual conference, to be held next month in New York. The full article on the teaching of the history of psychology can be found here.

New SHP Website Launched!

The Society for the History of Psychology (SHP), Division 26 of the American Psychological Association, has launched a new website. The site includes a blogfeed on the homepage, an events section, as well as a teaching section. A dedicated student area is also under development. The SHP is also selling Society for the History of Psychology merchandise on the site through CafePress. Among the items available for purchase are t-shirts, teddybears, and magnets, as well as dog bowls emblazoned with ‘Pavlov’.

The new SHP website is part of the division’s effort stimulate membership involvement, an effort that has also led to the creation of an SHP facebook page. According to the site,

The new SHP webpage offers a central source for popular history and psychology-related blogs such as the Advances in the History of Psychology, British Psychological Society, Mindhacks, and many more. We have built a great resource but we will need your help to make it even better. Continue reading New SHP Website Launched!