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SPSSI Action Teaching Program

More than a half century ago, social psychologist and SPSSI co-founder Kurt Lewin coined the term "action research" to describe research aimed at solving social problems. In his words, "Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice."

Action teaching—the pedagogical counterpart to action research—refers to a style of instruction that contributes to peace, social justice, and sustainable living at the same time as it educates students. This two-pronged approach to education includes classroom activities, student assignments, field experiences, and online learning resources.

What distinguishes action teaching from tradition education is that it contributes directly to the betterment of society while teaching students about the topic being studied. That is, students do not simply listen to lectures, complete reading assignments, or write term papers—they take action to address social issues.

The SPSSI Action Teaching Program is an effort to: (1) recognize excellence in action teaching with an annual award, and (2) facilitate the development of new action teaching resources by providing up to three grants per year.

SPSSI Action Teaching Award

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues has established an Action Teaching Award for high-impact teaching resources related to the psychological study of social issues. Each year, an award of $1,000 will recognize an innovative and effective example of action teaching that addresses a pressing social issue such as climate change, immigration, human rights, income inequality, domestic violence, animal protection, or intergroup conflict. A smaller award may also be given for entries receiving honorable mention.

Deadline: March 15th, annually.

SPSSI Action Teaching Grants

The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues will provide grants of up to $1,500 to SPSSI members who seek to develop, enhance, or measure the impact of an action teaching activity, assignment, field experience, or web-based resource. All grant proposals should make clear what the action teaching item will teach students and how it will simultaneously contribute to peace, social justice, and/or sustainable living. A maximum of three grants will be awarded annually.

Deadline: April 30th, annually.