Secondary Psychology- Displays

Displays are a bit like marmite… you either love or hate doing them. Here are some quick and easy ways to spruce up your classroom and they aren’t too time consuming at all

Debates wall

This provides a talking point for lessons whilst covering the debates in Psychology

You simply need to back the board with any coloured paper. Then attach, with drawing pins, a thick ribbon or cord horizontally across the board. Then produce some cards that you can blu-tac to either side of the ribbon stating opposite ends of any debate ( e.g. free will / determinism, reductionism / holism etc). The idea is simply to give each student a wooden peg that they can personalise. They then attach it to the display where they feel they ‘sit’ in terms of the debate displayed.  So, for example, you might have ‘nature’ one end and ‘nurture’ the other. If students feel it’s a bit of both they place their peg somewhere in the middle. As you cover the debate they can move their peg.  It’s an ever-changing interactive display that works well.

Using posters

I often use posters to base my displays on, and then most of the work is done for you. For example, I have used a poster of

• ..The world to show cross cultural syndromes. You could also use it to illustrate how the % of different attachment types present themselves cross culturally. Students then learn the study data from Van Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg ( 1988) through exposure every time they are in your classroom.

• …Mohammed Ali to apply the approaches. The question ‘ Why do people box?’ is at the top of the display and a series of explanations relating to the approaches run down the side. Biological explanations of testosterone, behaviourist of operant conditioning, social learning as role models etc. This has real visual impact for little effort.

• The characters in the Simpsons to show how they might reflect disorders etc. There are many posters with Simpson’s characters on. If you just look at what they are saying you can see parallels with mental illness or cognitive biases. An example would be when Nelson says “Dad didn’t leave… When he comes back from the store, he’s going to wave those pop-tarts right in your face!”. This would illustrate the concept of denial as his Dad has left the family home. I add labels to the poster with the psychological terms on them.

Key terms

A tremendously simple yet effective display is putting key terms backed on bright card so that students see the term and remember to use them. It also has the added bonus of helping literacy. Choose words that are frequently misspelt such as, dare I say it, Psychology?!

Ellie Hills

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