Tue, 02/05/2019

About the Teaching Committee: Supporting Developmental Scientists

This article continues a series highlighting the initiatives of SRCD’s 14 active standing and operational committees, their dedicated members, and how each contributes to a more vibrant Society and to advancing child development research. Each committee has its own charge from SRCD’s Governing Council and generates its own activities.

Spotlights on the Science and Social Policy Committee2019 Biennial Meeting Program Committee, the Student and Early Career Council (SECC), the Equity and Justice Committee, and the International Affairs Committee have been published. We continue with a closer look at the activities conducted by the Teaching Committee.

Marc H. Bornstein, President and Laura L. Namy, Executive Director


About the Committee

Since its inception in 2007, the Teaching Committee has lived by its mission statement to support and enhance quality teaching of developmental science in higher education. This mission is directly related to SRCD’s Strategic Plan of advancing and promoting developmental science to improve human lives and to communicate, exchange, and translate developmental science. Nearly every college student takes at least one course in developmental science. Undergraduate courses offer opportunities to disseminate developmental science and stress its applied importance to nonscientists who will someday shape policy as leaders and citizens. Through its focus on strengthening pedagogy and teaching effectiveness among SRCD members, the Teaching Committee serves to engage and build capacity among current and future developmental scientists.

Current Members

Note: Committee members and terms change following SRCD's Biennial Meeting in March 2019

Core Activities

The Teaching Committee’s principal activities over the last two years have included the SRCD Teaching Mentorship Program and planning for the 2019 SRCD Developmental Science Teaching Institute.

  • The SRCD Teaching Mentorship Program is an initiative which matches senior faculty with early career teachers to help develop and strengthen competencies in teaching and learning. The Program, coordinated by chair Dr. Laurie Kramer, Professor of Applied Psychology and Director of the University Honors Program at Northeastern University, and committee member Dr. Virginia Tompkins, Associate Professor at Ohio State University at Lima, was revitalized with efforts from the committee. Their successful effort resulted in 35 pairs of Mentors and Scholars which nearly doubled the number of mentoring relationships established during the previous round of the program.
  • The 2019 Developmental Science Teaching Institute has been coordinated under the leadership of Judith Bryant, Professor of Psychology at the University of South Florida, Maria Wong, Associate Professor of Psychology at Stevenson University, and Laurie Kramer serving as co-chairs and committee members Stephen Asatsa, Kyle Chambers, Stephanie Madsen, and Matthew Mulvaney. The Teaching Institute will be a day-long pre-conference to the 2019 SRCD Biennial, with The Society for the Teaching of Psychology as a sponsor. The theme of this year’s Teaching Institute is teaching about diversity, equity, and inclusion. The program includes: plenary addresses, workshops, round table/participant idea exchanges, poster sessions, and a networking reception.

Looking Ahead
The Teaching Committee has several core activities in progress for the year ahead, including:

  • Highlighting the committee’s role in advancing the development of early career professionals and in supporting teachers of developmental science, for example, by presenting a carefully curated set of teaching resources or providing an online platform that invites the exchange of pedagogical ideas and effective practices.
  • Launching the next Teaching Mentorship Program beginning in the Fall of 2019.
  • Collaborations with other SRCD Committees to infuse excellence in teaching and learning in efforts to build a strong, effective, and diverse base of professionals in the developmental sciences.

The 2019 Biennial also marks the conclusion of Dr. Kramer’s tenure as chair. Current committee member, Dr. Matthew Mulvaney, Associate Professor at Syracuse University, will be stepping into the role. “It’s been an honor to serve as chair over the last several years and to bear witness to the enhanced programming we’ve been able to provide to early career scholars,” said Dr. Kramer. “I know that the Teaching Committee will continue to serve as a leader in the field for promoting effective teaching and learning, as well as diversity and inclusivity, in the developmental sciences.”