Pedagogy and the Human Sciences: Making Use of Pop Culture in the Classroom

Meeting in the middle: Making use of popular culture in the classroom

by Michelle Ronayne1 , JoAnne Shayne2 , & Johnny Nguyen3

Abstract. The purpose of this paper is to explore the current landscape of the 21st century Introductory Psychology classroom. The authors—graduate students and current teachers of psychology—are well aware of the need to move away from traditional, top-down approaches to teaching. Personal experience has convinced them that the standard lecture format does not engage all 21st century students. A belief in the need to actively engage students in introductory psychology courses is the basis for the present paper. Through the use of technology and active-learning classroom activities, teachers might succeed in meeting students of psychology “where they are,” thus improving the classroom experience for the educator and the student. This paper will explore the idea of teaching of traditional introductory psychology course content using a popular culture medium.

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