Editor: Dana S. Dunn
Publisher: Oxford University Press – 927 pages
Book Review by: Laxmi Chaandi

This book has been written primarily for college- and university-level teachers of psychology. It provides comprehensive coverage of teaching, pedagogy, and professional issues in psychology. It has been developed to help psychology educators improve their performance in all aspects of their work, from teaching their first courses to developing their careers to serving as department or program administrators.

This book could also be useful to teachers of social sciences such as education, political science and sociology.

Specifically, this book has been developed to provide you, the aspiring or already practicing psychology educator, professional advice on:

  • Administrative and professional issues such as building your career, chairing a department, organizing a curriculum, and conducting assessment
  • Advice on student advising
  • Best practices in teaching psychology
  • Creation of courses
  • Choosing content for each course
  • Classroom management and strategies

Ninety-six people from academia and research centers in the United States and Canada contributed content for this book. Most of them work in the psychology departments of colleges and universities. They are the authors of 67 chapters organized around five Parts named below:

  1. Background and Introduction
  2. Pedagogy and Practice Issues
  3. Teaching the Topical Areas
  4. Preparing Students for Life After Graduation
  5. Emerging Topics

Some important themes you’ll find throughout this book are the following, in alphabetical order:

  • Assessment issues
  • Attention to diversity
  • Faculty development
  • Pedagogical innovations
  • Psychological literacy
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Student learning

Millions of college students take psychology courses either as required subjects in their curriculum or as an available elective. This will likely be their only exposure to psychology. Dana Dunn writes that psychology educators should make sure that that experience be an important and positive one, by properly presenting the full breadth and depth of the subject to the students, including the “liberally educating values inherent in psychology.”

Then there are those who take psychology as their major in college. In the 2010-2011 period there were some 97,000 people who received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. But most of them did not become psychologists or even work in fields allied to psychology. But what they (and others, in years prior and subsequent to 2010-2011) learned in the major – the analytical perspectives, research methods, techniques and tools – served as important aids in whatever careers they pursued.

Dana Dunn’s main message in the book is in Chapter 1, Psychology Education: An overview of Opportunities. I believe it is this: learning and teaching psychology is very important, and as teachers of psychology, we must do our very best to prepare our students to become good teachers of this very exciting, promising, and useful field because it can truly enhance the quality of our lives of all of us.

In the concluding chapter (67) he presents to us five ‘modest marching orders’ and they are:

  1. Share Psychology’s Knowledge Base
  2. Promote Scientific Inquiry and Thinking
  3. Encourage Effective Communication
  4. Enhance Ethical and Social Responsibility in a Diverse World
  5. Ensure Professional Development

This is an excellent book for everyone, and every psychology teacher should have a copy of it.



Dana S. Dunn, PhD is a Professor of Psychology and Assistant Dean for Special Projects at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A social psychologist by training, his scholarship examines learning, liberal education, and teaching as well as the social psychology of disability. Dunn received the Charles L. Brewer Award for Distinguished Teaching of Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation in 2013. He is Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Biographies: Psychology.