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Teaching Sensitive Topics: Psychological Literacy as an antidote to Pedagogic Frailty

Winstone, Naomi and Kinchin, Ian (2017) Teaching Sensitive Topics: Psychological Literacy as an antidote to Pedagogic Frailty Psychology Teaching Review.

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Abstract

Many topics within the Psychology curriculum can be described as ‘sensitive’, with potential for students to experience distress and discomfort. Given the pressure experienced by academics in Higher Education, the potential for student distress or complaints might lead lecturers to adopt a risk-averse approach to teaching, which is well represented by the concept of Pedagogic Frailty (Kinchin et al., 2016). Through interviews with nine Psychology Lecturers, we uncover the common concerns that arise when teaching sensitive topics, and the strategies employed to overcome these concerns. We also suggest that where teaching is strongly influenced by the values underpinning Psychological Literacy, those teaching sensitive topics may be less vulnerable to the characteristics of Pedagogic Frailty, as the risks associated with the teaching of sensitive topics are offset by the perceived importance of exposing students to sensitive topics. The implications for the teaching of Psychology are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Department of Higher Education
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Winstone, NaomiN.Winstone@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Kinchin, Iani.kinchin@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2017
Copyright Disclaimer : © Copyright 2017 The British Psychological Society
Uncontrolled Keywords : Psychological Literacy; Pedagogic Frailty; Sensitive Topics; Risk Aversion; Learning Environment
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 13 Jul 2017 12:33
Last Modified : 13 Jul 2017 12:33
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/841637

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