Using Carl Rogers’s Approach to Improve the Teaching of Psychology
James Korn reviewed the book On Becoming an Effective Teacher: Person-Centered Teaching, Psychology, Philosophy, and Dialogues With Carl R. Rogers and Harold Lyon by Carl R. Rogers, Harold C. Lyon Jr., and Reinhard Tausch. In his review Korn states:
Nowhere in this book is there recognition or discussion of the need for variations in using person-centered teaching related to students’ educational level. The implication is that it can be used at any level and “in any field of knowledge” (p. 92).
Korn further states that the authors offer no research support for their approach.
Would it be beneficial for teaching-of-psychology mentors and programs to use some of what we know about Rogers’s approach? For example, Korn mentions that the book includes ideas such as being genuine, having empathy for students, and being more student centered, but it also mentions more controversial ideas such as no grading and self-chosen assignments.
Are there some things that we as psychology faculty and graduate students can take from Rogers’s approach to improve our classroom instruction of undergraduates and/or graduate students? Should this approach be tested empirically by our colleagues interested in the scholarship of the teaching of psychology?
By James Korn
PsycCRITIQUES, 2014 Vol 59(6)