The Chicago School Here a nd Now
From Boulder to Vail to Chicago DEFINING THE NE X T MODEL OF PSYCHOLOGY EDUC ATION
right: Business Psychology student Kevin King takes a turn at spinning silk during their recent trip to China.
cross section of Chicago School community members are engaging this academic year in a “Constitutional Convention”-scale project to define and articulate The Chicago School Model of education. Called “From Boulder to Vail to Chicago,” the initiative carries the ambitious goal of advancing the progression of psychology education from its origins of research to practice to a blend of both with an emphasis on community engagement. The Vail Model emerged in the 1970s with the creation of the National Council on Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology, and reconfigured training into a practitioner-scholar approach with an emphasis on knowledge, skills, and attitudes focused on the practice of psychology. It represented a departure from the Boulder Model, which focused on scientistpractitioner-based training and was rooted in academic research methods first, then practice. The school plans to continue this conversation locally first and then carry it to the larger academic community in years to come. Phase I has begun with working groups from every academic department as well as the areas of academic support and engagement and student affairs. Using a uniform discussion framework, the groups’ initial task is to probe the school’s values of education, innovation, service, and community, along with its learning goals, through a lens focused on individual assumptions, attitudes, actualities, and ambitions. “Our starting point was an education model that was more instinctive,” said Dr. Nancy Davis, associate vice president of academic affairs, who helped train the group facilitators. “It was not documented or explicit. We think that this process of engagement and dialogue will result in an articulated shared model.” Once working groups have completed their initial assignments, a steering committee will begin phase II—discovering alignments in values, definitions, and beliefs, and using the
common language to mold a model of education to be formally recognized by TCS. “It’s an organic exercise that will lead to a final product created by educators,” Dr. Deane Rabe, associate vice president of engagement and student affairs, said. “We’re setting out to clearly and succinctly articulate two statements: ‘this is what we do’ and ‘this is how we do it.’” Like the school’s 2007 self-study exercise for reaccreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, the model draft will work though an extensive review stage that will reengage the working groups, along with Faculty Council, CSSA, Alumni Council, and Chicago School staff. Feedback will be incorporated into a final draft to go to the school’s cabinet and board in late spring 2009.
Broadening Our Reach
he world’s most populous nation has become home to The Chicago School’s first international presence. Located in Shanghai, the new China Office works to recruit Chinese students to our campuses in the states, and forges ties with Chinese universities that can offer mutual benefits and expand the role that professional psychology plays in an increasingly global society. Yanjun Weng, whose international education company develops higher education partnerships