Psychology Educator Development Association (PEDA)
The Psychology Educator Development Association (PEDA), founded by four graduate students at the University of Georgia, was recently featured in a national magazine published by the American Psychological Association. The organization was highlighted for its outstanding contribution to student teaching at the University of Georgia and its role as a resource for students at other schools who feel their universities offer inadequate teacher training.
Brian Stone, Melissa Dengler, Sarah Whitaker, and Michael Amlung (pictured L-R) founded PEDA after realizing students in psychology and other related disciplines were eager to improve their teaching and discuss classroom topics ranging from incorporating technology in the classroom to creating a useful syllabus.
“For me, PEDA has provided peer support and a venue to get to know people from outside my program. It has been a great resource for ideas and ways to improve teaching effectiveness as well as a source of inspiration to try new teaching techniques I might not otherwise be brave enough to try,” co-founder Melissa Dengler says.
Originally comprised of only a small group of graduate students, PEDA has expanded to form a collaborative group of graduate students and faculty both in psychology and other related disciplines. The members of PEDA meet monthly to discuss pedagogy, with discussions on such topics as, “Dealing with Student Problems and Problem Students,” “Student Writing: Assignment Ideas and Helpful Strategies” and “Getting and Keep a Faculty Position as a Teaching-focused Institution.” PEDA also hosts workshops and talks by veteran teachers and holds periodic social activities. One of the most important aspects of PEDA is their promotion of peer mentoring between seasoned instructors or graduate students and first-time teaching assistants (TAs) in an effort to ease new TAs into their new roles as teachers and to provide them with a valuable contact person who can answer questions about typical TA related issues.
For more information about the Psychology Educator Development Association, visit http://psychology.uga.edu/peda/index.html.