Iowa Teachers of Psychology

17th Annual Conference

Friday Nov. 4, 2016

​Simpson College - Indianola, Iowa


Elise L. Amel has published peer-reviewed conference papers, journal publications, book chapters, and a textbook, Psychology for Sustainability, integrating sustainability into the teaching of psychology. She currently directs the GALE Office of Sustainability Initiatives, which runs the Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) linking St. Thomas courses across disciplines to city-identified, high-priority sustainability and quality of life projects, advancing the common good by engaging students in real-world application of course content. Elise’s workshop will include slides and demonstrations that we will be welcome to use in our classrooms.

IToP welcomes psychology teachers from four-year colleges, community colleges and high schools. As you can see from the agenda, November 4th will be a full day conference devoted to learning from our invited speaker and each other. There will also be an opportunity to exchange ideas and materials, see demonstrations and activities, explore resources and establish or renew a relationship with other psychology teachers. We hope to see you there!

The academic performance of many students – for example, women in math courses, or minority students in college - is hindered by the feeling that they don’t belong. Research in both K-12 and higher education has shown that value affirmation – asking students to reflect on a value that is important to them – improves students’ sense of belonging and academic performance. 

Improving Student Performance Through a Value Affirmation Activity

Dr. Brian Smith, Professor of Psychology 

Graceland University

Students’ mindsets – their beliefs about their intelligence - influence how they respond to academic challenges.  In this session, Sal will present research findings about the consequences of mindsets of both intelligence and willpower. She will then explore ways of increasing students’ motivation by fostering a growth mindset of ability and an unlimited mindset of willpower in the feedback we give to students. Sal Meyers is Professor of Psychology and Director of Faculty Development at Simpson College.  She has authored a set of case studies designed to educate students about mindsets and to move them toward more productive mindsets.

2016 Featured Keynote Presentations

Environmental Problem Solving and Psychology: A Natural Fit!

Dr. Elise L. Amel, Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies

University of St. Thomas

Using Mindsets to Improve Student Responses to Academic Challenges

Dr. Sal Meyers, Professor of Psychology and Director of Faculty Development

Simpson College