Enhancing Psychological Literacy through a course-transcending first year project

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


Scientific psychology bachelor programmes aim to educate students in the main psychological areas, as well as for instance research and communication skills. At Utrecht University, most newly enrolled students have no clear idea about their future goals, and therefore the subject matter they are taught in the first year often appears not readily applicable and distant.
We devised a course-transcending project in which all first-year students apply the psychological knowledge they obtain in five (out of eight) first-year courses to a contemporary societal issue (currently the influx of refugees into Europe and the Netherlands). In small groups they come up with a specific problem definition, approached from a psychological subdomain of choice. They search literature, interview professionals, and write a policy report, in which the problem is presented in a scientific way and a possible intervention proposed. They also present their work at a symposium to their peers, teaching staff and societal stakeholders.
This project provides the students with insight into the role of the psychologist/academic in society and clarifies to how the psychological knowledge they learn relates directly to contemporary societal issues. In other words, it enhances their psychological literacy from the start of their academic career.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventESPLAT conference 2019: Teaching and learning to foster the psychologist of the future - Paushuize, Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 25 Sept 201927 Sept 2019


ConferenceESPLAT conference 2019
Internet address


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