An Evolving Descriptive Overview of the Tutorials
- In the first tutorial, we will examine how groups start out,
"break the ice", and start learning names and about one another, as
well as about the role of the tutorials and the tutorial tasks
- In tutorial two, students are suddenly thrust into a different
world, one which is emotionally provocative and challenging,
possibly even traumatic as we examine one of the most extremely
dangerous potentials of group behaviour - genocide. The
specific context will by the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, in which over
1 million people were slaughtered in approximately three months.
We will watch a 2-hour documentary, "Ghosts of Rwanda" which tells
the harrowing story of how the atrocities unfolded, with revealing
interviews from several key figures. During the course of the
documentary almost every social psychological principle we study in
social psychology is revealed in one form or another. Students
will be likely to be left emotionally drained and disturbed from
this viewing and its potential effects should not be taken likely.
Please be aware that because of the potentially traumatising effects
of watching a graphic movie about genocide, this tutorial is not
compulsory. An accompanying website provides written material
which may be more preferable for some students. Please
also be aware that strong emotional reactions, including crying are
very likely during and in the hours and days following the movie.
Allow yourself time and space to process this tutorial. The
WebCT bulletin board will provide an opportunity to discuss the
Rwandan 1994 genocide.
- In tutorial three, we will debrief the viewing of "Ghosts of
Rwanda". Students will have been requested to take notes in
the previous week about social psychological principles which they
observed in "Ghosts of Rwanda". These observations will be
pooled in order to help understand genocide and responses to
genocide from a social psychological point of view. We will
then watch a 50 minute movie of a "Blue Eyed Brown Eyed" workshop by
Jane Elliott, conducted recently in Australia. Jane Elliott is
famous for her in-your-face experiential training about how racism
occurs and what is it like to be on the receiving end of racism.
Elliott conducts her workshop in the context of relations between
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. Tutorials two and three will be accompanied by guest lectures by
Geoff Denham on "Aggression in the Human Animal" and "Prejudice and
Discrimination". Geoff offers a social (de)constructionist
point of view on these classic topics in social psychology.
Among the contributions Geoff is likely to offer is, I hope, a
confidence in finding different ways to approach arguably the most
difficult social psychological topics. After the heavy content
of tutorials two and three, we will have a week's rest from
tutorials. It is healthy to have periods of relatively silence
and quiet in group development. This mini-break is also
designed to allow focus on developing an the essay outline.
- In tutorial four, we turn our focus to looking more closely at
ourselves and understanding the extent to which we are a function of
our social relations. We will share with another information
about the groups to which we belong and how they have affected our
behaviour who we consider ourselves to be. Several
experiential activities which focus on interpersonal relations will
be conducted. Note that one of the additional goals of the
current tutorial series is provide students with exposure to
communication skill and group training activities which could be
readily applied to other situations in which they may be the
- In tutorial five, we will examine the nature of groups, group
development, group dynamics, group decision-making, leadership,
leadership styles, team roles, etc. These are popular applied
topics, particularly in a society with social fluidity (e.g.,
regularly changing jobs, family situations, etc.).
- It is less easy to predict how the group process will unfold in
the five tutorials following the two-week teaching break, but the
planned contents is as follows (but is subject to change)....Tutorial six, "Australian Zeitgiest", will examine Hugh Mackay's
analysis of the mind and moon of Australia via listening to and
discussing his recent Manning Clark Lecture, "Social Disengagement:
A Breeding Ground for Fundamentalism". In small groups,
students will work to come up with action plans for combatting the
social ills which Mackay diagnoses as problems for Australia.
- Tutorial seven, "Social Constructionism", will engage students
experientially in a gestalt activity (Group Mandala) in which groups
and individuals face their own construction of group reality, a 30
min Discovery Learning psychology video about "Social
Constructionism", and a positive social psychology action exercise.
- Tutorial eight will examine the concept of culture shock, its
stages, and ways in which people can be trained to better handle
cross-cultural situations using experiential methods. Cultural
Mapping, a technique used in the EXCEL cross-training program will
be introduced and practiced, with a followup lecture from Anita Mak
on this applied example of social psychology in action.
- Tutorial nine will examine intragroup and intergroup cognition
and behaviour, particularly with regard to gender, research on
intergroup behaviour (particularly Social Identity and Self
Categorisation), negotiation and mediation, and we will explore
sociometric analysis and activities. A practice, take-home
exam will also be provided.
- Tutorial ten, the final tutorial, will provide an opportunity for
closure. Participants are encouraged to discussion their
experience and to provide feedback to the group and tutor about the
course. The practice exam will also be discussed and formal
course evaluations will be completed.