Hulme, JA and Kitching, HJ (2017) The nature of psychology: Reflections on university teachers' experiences of teaching sensitive topics. Psychology Teaching Review, 23 (1). 4 -14. ISSN 0965-948X

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This paper describes one aspect of a larger scale qualitative study conducted to investigate psychology-specific issues in learning and teaching in higher education. Participants included academic psychologists from across the career spectrum and from diverse UK universities. A semi-structured focus group methodology was employed, and results were analysed using thematic analysis. A key theme related to the nature of psychology, with a subtheme of teaching sensitive topics. For our purposes, we define ‘sensitive topics’ as topics within the psychology curriculum that may elicit an emotional or distressing response amongst learners. Psychology engages students in academic study and assessment that is relevant to their own personal circumstances or that they can find upsetting. Participants noted particular challenges when teaching sensitive topics, but also observed the value of doing so for students and society more widely. We explore the perceptions of university teachers with regard to teaching sensitive topics in psychology, reflect on the implications within higher education, and by extrapolation, within pre-tertiary education. We close with recommendations for curriculum developers and educators within both sectors.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-publication version of the following article, Hulme, JA and Kitching, HJ (2017) The nature of psychology: Reflections on university teachers' experiences of teaching sensistive topics, in Psychology Teaching Review, 23(1). It first appeared online via British Psychological Society at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: sensitive topics, mental health, psychological literacy, employability, higher education, pre-tertiary education
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2017 08:10
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2021 10:43

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