Division of Teachers & Researchers in Psychology: Annual Review 2011

The Committee continues to promote the Division to many sectors of academic psychology to support new and future teachers and researchers through links with organisations such as the Association for Teachers of Psychology (ATP) and PsyPAG.

Committee members have been actively representing the DTRP, for example: Dr Paul Humphreys on various Boards within the Society (MSB and PPB), Peter Reddy on PEB, Dr Julie Hulme and Helen Kitching at ATP, and Dr Liz Winter at the CPD Forum. Dr Simon Goodson (Vice-Chair Research) is developing closer links with sections within the BPS and is representing the DTRP at Research Board meetings, so that we can provide better support and representation for researchers. In June, Dr Jacqui Taylor and Pete Reddy attended the final Higher Education Academy Psychology Network (HEAPN) Advisory Board Meeting at York.

The Division has worked well with Annie Trapp and her team at HEAPN and we will miss the support that they have provided to the academic psychology community. We are looking forward to working closely with the new HEA Psychology Discipline lead, Dr Julie Hulme, to continue these good links. 

The Division provides opportunities for current and potential members to discuss teaching and research-related activities through our participation in and sponsorship of national events. Committee members have organised the following events this year:

  • November 2010. Dr Jacqui Taylor presented a session on opportunities for graduates wanting to become psychology teachers or researchers at the BPS Wessex Branch Careers Conference;
  • April 2011. The DTRP ran a Symposium at the Annual Conference in Glasgow. Dr Tim Jones convened the Symposium on ‘Reinventing the Wheel’, with presentations from Valerie Bentinck, Dr Penney Upton, Dr Caroline Wesson, Dr Wendy Nicholls and Dr Jacqui Taylor. This was very well attended by Division and non-Division members and a wide-ranging discussion following the presentations concluded that psychologists have a lot to offer in highlighting the positive as well as the negative factors regarding the implementation of new technologies to enhance Psychology learning and teaching;
  • July 2011. Dr Julie Hulme, Helen Kitching and Dr Paul Humphreys organised a Symposium to explore and debate the issues surrounding the assessed practical for A-level psychology at the ATP Conference held at the University of Hatfield. This event further developed the important links with ATP members which had been initiated in previous years. The speakers (Ruth Hooper, Morag Williamson, Francesca Thompson and Julie Hulme) gave views from many wide-ranging perspectives. Many members of the audience agreed that practical research skills were invaluable, in supporting student learning and engagement and being core to Psychology as a discipline, although it was recognised that many ATP members did not want a return to coursework in the form that it was three years ago;
  • July 2011. The Division provided sponsorship for the PsyPAG Annual Conference at Bangor University.

The Division encourages communication through a variety of media and we have plans to extend these further, thanks to the dedication and work of committee members Dr Paul Sander, Valerie Bentinck, Helen Kitching and Stella Williamson. We now produce:

  • an eNewsletter, which is currently being updated and will include a new Academic Digest. Please can you let us know (via our administrator Hazel Lacey) if you are not receiving this, as we have experienced some problems with our mailing lists this year;
  • Helen Kitching has produced a FaceBook page and Dr Matthew Coxon will be soon updating our presence on the BPS website to promote discussion;
  • two issues per year of our peer-reviewed publication Psychology Teaching Review (PTR) which features one themed issue per year, which this year is ‘Psychology Around the World’.

Plans for the next 12 months

We are very excited to be hosting our Inaugural Conference on 19 April 2012 as part of the Annual Conference in London. The theme is, ‘Supporting student engagement in a changing economic climate’ and we look forward to seeing you – the conference is free if you register for the full Annual Conference. At our Inaugural Conference, we will re-launch our Division at a wine reception, with our new name and logo, and a revised strategic plan highlighting targeted activities to achieve our aims.