Project blog: All good things must come to an end.
So, another key point has come in the academic year, but one that is more pertinent this year, and relates specifically to the project.
We set out at the start of the academic year to look at diversity issues within the psychology curriculum, and based it on two of our third year developmental modules, The Developing Child and The Developing Adult.
As we now hit the Easter break, the undergraduate teaching has finished on those modules, ready in time for exams and dissertation submission. But more importantly (and quite sadly!), that will be the last time the two developmental modules ever run. For the next academic year, we will be moving to a new module – Lifespan Development – which Tanya and I have rewritten, based on the two modules, and the feedback we’ve had from this year so far. More about that perhaps in a different post.
Whilst we haven’t yet got the data for the diversity project, as teaching has finished, there are still some summaries I can draw from this year, how I feel it has gone, and more importantly, what the students got from this year.
There have been some real break-out moments on Developing Adult this year (and I know Tanya has told me of similar from Developing Child) that I wasn’t expecting, that I’ve really learnt from just as much, if not more, than the students. The stand out one for me was the activity relating to privilege and class – it really hit home with a lot of students, and it came across to me as one of the first times they had really thought about the privileges they have (and don’t have). Being the wonderful group they are, they also questioned assumptions around privilege, especially in relation to changing circumstances, and highlighted quite explicitly the subjective and ever-changing nature of some privileges.
A more recent example was a session that I led on Adversity and Inequality, a new workshop, taken from the plans for the new module. Students commented afterwards that they really didn’t see the applicability to adult development before coming to the session, but stand out activities really got them thinking (especially an activity on disability and the Paralympics), and this is the exact kind of thinking and reflection I was aiming for.
The patchwork blogs that have been an integral part of the module have now come to an end, and after finishing them up this morning, it’s really been a pleasure to see the journey some students have been on, and how these blogs have become little pieces of history that narrate thought processes over time – the physical (well, digital) memento really does provide evidence for how our thinking can change over time.
Finally, I finished reading the end-of-year module evaluations yesterday, and made note of the good elements, and elements to improve going forward. Overwhelmingly, students had commented on how this module really made them reflect on their own personal experiences, and questioning of their own thoughts and beliefs. They welcomed the open, safe space for discussion, and made specific comments regarding their enjoyment for content. One also said I was ‘a total badass’, which I’ll accept wholeheartedly.
I’m looking forward to getting some data from the interviews to work with, and see what reflections we can implement going forward.