Getting I-O Into Intro Textbooks (GIT SIOP) Task Force: A Year in Review
Nick Salter, Ramapo College of New Jersey; Jennifer Lee Gibson, Fors Marsh Group; Roni Reiter-Palmon, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Georgia Chao, Michigan State University; Deborah DiazGranados, Virginia Commonwealth University; & Joseph A. Allen, University of Utah
At the 2018 SIOP Conference, then-President Talya Bauer presented to SIOP members the ongoing, perennial challenge faced by I-O: the lack of awareness of I-O and its absence in Intro to Psychology textbooks. Over the years, various committees have worked to make incremental gains on this front. Building off of this previous work, President Bauer launched the “Getting I-O into Intro Psychology Textbooks (GIT SIOP) Task Force” with the charge to coordinate distinct levers toward the goal of increasing coverage of I-O content in Intro to psychology textbooks and awareness of I-O among early psychology learners. This article summarizes the efforts of the GIT task force over the past year and points to opportunities where SIOP members can get involved in this meaningful effort.
The GIT Blog: Reflecting on What We've Been Doing
In August of 2018, the committee decided to create the GIT Blog in an effort to be transparent in our efforts (http://www.siop.org/GIT-Blog). The goal of this blog is to provide information on a regular basis to inform the SIOP community what the committee is working on and the progress it has made toward its goal of increasing awareness of I-O Psychology in Intro to Psychology textbooks and classes. Moreover, it provides a platform for SIOPers to help us broaden our message and our efforts. Our goal is for the blog to serve as one of a few ways we communicate to the broader SIOP community what we are doing and how the community can be a part of the team, spreading the word about I-O, and getting I-O into Intro to Psychology texts and classes. Many SIOP members believe strongly in the goals of GIT, have ideas about how we can accomplish those goals, and the blog has already inspired many to reach out to members of GIT to share those ideas and suggestions. Since the first post, the feedback has been positive, and the posts have been regular!
In September, the blog highlighted things every SIOP member could do to help get I-O into Intro to Psychology classes. After the premier post of the blog in August, a lot of SIOP members reached out to task force members to express excitement over this work – and interest in helping. Three suggestions were made: (a) Talk with faculty who teach Intro to Psychology about working I-O into their curricula, (b) offer to guest lecture or present in an Intro to Psychology class, and (c) start conversations with other psychologists about this topic. Some of these seem simple, but they can have big effects, particularly if many members do this over time. We as I-O psychologists often just take it as fact that our field isn’t covered in Intro to Psychology classes, but there are simple and easy things we can all do to rectify this!
The October 2018 post talked about I-O content that is freely available for all to use. Members of the SIOP Education and Training committee authored a complete chapter (http://www.siop.org/Events-Education/Educators/I-O-Resources-for-Teachers) on I-O psychology that could be included in any Intro to Psychology class. In addition, one-page summaries of many major I-O topics were written (and updated) and can also be used by authors and publishers looking to add specific I-O content but who have limited space. These materials are covered under a creative commons license, which means they can be used or modified freely by any individual or commercial entity as long as credit to the license is given as well as notification of any changes made. These resources will be very helpful for everyone,especially for instructors who want to include the topic in their class but might not have extensive personal experience with I-O topics.
The November blog post highlighted an interview GIT task force member Nick Salter did with the Department 12 Podcast (https://department12.com/nick-salter-on-getting-io-into-intro-psych). Department 12 is a website all about I-O psychology, including articles and podcasts on news, updates, opinions, and thoughts about our field. In the podcast, Nick talked about why GIT was started, what its goals are, and what its plans for the future are. This podcast is helping further the GIT goal of getting people talking about I-O psychology and Intro to Psychology textbooks.
In December, another interview was highlighted – this time with Isaac Lindquist. Isaac is a current I-O graduate student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Isaac’s story is exactly the type of student story GIT wants to share in order to promote the inclusion of I-O into Intro to Psychology textbooks: he first learned about I-O in his Intro to Psychology class and found it to be such an interesting experience that he decided to pursue it as a career. In his interview, Isaac talks about how his interests originally were in business, but learning about I-O in his Intro to Psychology class helped him to see that there are other avenues besides pursuing a career in business that may be better suited for some people. Any exposure to I-O is beneficial to students, whether they decide to enter into the field or if they just use what they learned to inform them in their future job.
In the first blog post of 2019, an exciting new initiative aimed at high-school psychology students was highlighted. APA has established National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula but this document does not include I-O. However, the APA Council of Representatives recently decided to revise this document, and two SIOP members (Joe Allen and Traci Sitzmann) were approved to serve on the Advisory Panel as expert reviewers. By being on the panel, they will be able to ensure that I-O has a voice at the table and can help inform others of the importance of including I-O in Intro to Psychology classes – including at the high school level.
The February blog post issued a call for help: Join the Bridge Builders committee! Bridge Builders is a subcommittee of the SIOP Education and Training committee aimed at educating students at all levels (high school, undergraduate, and graduate) about I-O psychology. They hope to accomplish their broad goal in many ways, such as creating a directory of SIOP members who would be willing to speak in high-school or college Intro to Psychology classes about I-O and identifying dual-enrollment programs that allow high-school students to earn credit for taking college-level classes as well as those that offer AP-psychology courses. This committee will do a lot of great work to connect with the population we most want to reach: students.
Finally, the latest post on the GIT blog highlights two recent articles SIOP member Clemente Diaz wrote for the APA Psych Learning Curve website about including I-O in Intro to Psychology courses. The two articles are about why I-O should be included (http://psychlearningcurve.org/why-i-o-psychology-should-be-included-in-introductory-psychology) and how to incorporate the topic into classes (http://psychlearningcurve.org/incorporating-i-o-psychology-into-introductory-psychology). These articles are exciting for many reasons! One big reason is the audience these articles reach. This website is part of APA and therefore reaches out to the broader psychology community (and not just SIOP). In our field, we already know including I-O in Intro to Psychology courses should be done, but talking to APA members directly can help move our goal forward.
What’s Next for GIT?
As the second year of the task force gets underway, we invite all SIOP members to check out our blog (http://www.siop.org/GIT-Blog) and “GIT” involved. Try some of the simple things suggested in the posts, reach out to the Bridge Builders committee chair (Roni Reiter-Palmon, email@example.com) to get ideas on how to share I-O with early learners in your local community, or send your ideas to further the work of GIT SIOP to the task-force chair (Joe Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org). Also, if you have ideas about what GIT could do, let us know! We are always open to suggestions. As we work together, we can create a groundswell of interest in I-O and GIT I-O into Intro to Psychology texts and classes!