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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Psychology teachers often must decide what material to cover in their courses. Particularly in introductory courses, do we cover many topics superficially, or do we delve deeply into fewer topics, sacrificing broad coverage? In this chapter, we explore how a core curriculum in psychology can assist faculty members in structuring their programs, curricula, and class activities to achieve student learning outcomes (SLOs). We begin by describing the components of the core psychology curriculum and why it is needed. We then discuss how the core relates to expectations of psychology graduates and to the assessment of SLOs. After exploring its advantages, we address criticisms of a core curriculum, including what courses should be included, how a core can lead to nondistinctive experiences, and what challenges arise in implementing and maintaining a core. We end with recommendations for how faculty can maximize the benefits while overcoming the challenges of a core curriculum.

Keywords: core psychology curriculum, teaching psychology, Introductory Psychology, research methods, capstone, assessment, student learning outcomes

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