About 2011

About the conference

Why the conference?

I think this conference offers something extra to your standard CPD event. It was set up nearly 30 years ago by a group of psychology teachers, for psychology teachers. Since then it has run every year and in 2012 will celebrate its 30th birthday. It is not run for a profit (just as well if you see the balance sheet) but to be the focus of the community of psychology teachers. Many teachers have made their first CPD presentation at the conference and gone on to make regular appearances at this and other events. Other teachers have met publishers and authors and been inspired to go into the writing game themselves. Contacts are made with colleagues around the country and resources are shared. Mostly, teachers come along at the end of the academic year and leave the conference refreshed and inspired to prepare for the new year.

Throughout the last 30 years the Exam Boards (as was) or the Awarding Bodies as they are now called have always turned up, provided breakout events and keynote speakers and engaged with the conference. This has allowed teachers to offer feedback, both positive and negative, and to have an input into the development and delivery of assessments. The exchange has been beneficial for both side of the debate.

We have titled this conference ‘by the teacher, for the teacher’ to try and capture the spirit of the conference. This spirit of sharing and cooperative working has taken a new form most recently in the excellent psychexchange, and we are delighted that the psychexchange team will again be at the conference and making a big contribution.

Star names

This year we have an even more exciting programme than usual. We are delighted to welcome as our special guest and keynote speaker Professor Elizabeth Loftus, yes THE Elizabeth Loftus. We are very grateful to Cara Flanagan and South West Conferences who have made this possible. Professor Loftus will be with us for much of the conference and will deliver a keynote talk on Saturday 9th July.

We will also have an exciting and innovative presentation from Peter Lovatt from Hertfordshire University, or Doctor Dance as he is commonly referred to (see the weblink). This is another session not to miss.

Workshops and seminars

We offer a wide range of seminars and workshops that are put on by teachers, local university lecturers, examination boards and publishers. Among the highlights for 2011 we have

  • Guy Sutton (MBI Consultants) on Mind and brain in the 21st century. Guy presentation an excellent workshop last year and he will offer two more this year on how to teach issues of neurology and brain science on our psychology courses.
  • Karen Duffy and the PGCE students from Manchester Metropolitan University on active learning strategies. A fixture in the programme each year for the freshest new teachers to show their tricks and enthusiasm.
  • Roy van den Brink Budgen on critical thinking. Roy is another popular fixture on the programme and each year he brings new material on how to encourage thinking skills.
  • Association for Science Education on Researchers in Residence. This is a programme to allow teachers to take part in research projects and also to host research projects in their own school. A great opportunity to be involved in an live ongoing research project.

There will be over 60 breakout events from Awarding Bodies, the Psychology Department at the University of Hertfordshire, experienced teachers and authors.

The variety of the events is unrivaled at any other event for teachers of psychology. We would also argue that the quality is also unrivaled but that is for others to judge.

Do you want to contribute to the conference?

The conference is always looking to support new presenters and to provide opportunities for teachers to share their experience and to develop their presentation portfolio. I aim to reply to all offers though I noticed in this year’s feedback that someone believed I hadn’t taken up their offer. This must have either been an oversight on my part or a failure of my email system; I like to blame the latter.

Presentations at the conference can be by yourself or with someone else. They can be brief presentations for a symposium on research or on the practice of teaching. More commonly presentations take the form of a one-hour breakout event and this can be on how to deal with some aspect of the course such as how to make cognitive psychology interesting, or a more general aspect of teaching such as how to boost inclusion. Presentations on issues of equal opportunity are particularly welcome.