This article describes the experiences of teaching undergraduate psychology students in an Australian context. The degree course the students take has no community or critical units, but it is one of very few in Australia that has a compulsory standalone unit in qualitative methods. While qualitative methods are by no means necessarily inherently critical or community focused, it has presented an opportunity to the teachers of the unit (the authors of this paper). The authors of this paper, who employ community critical methodologies in their research, aim to design teaching which is also grounded in such theory, wherever possible and despite significant limitations. Such teaching is informed by: challenging taken for granted assumptions; deconstruction and problem posing; making things uncomfortable; and relating differently. The paper describes a design of teaching where all the students undertake research projects exploring the research question: “what does psychology offer community?” Following a description of the methodologies and teaching practices, the authors reflect subjectively on their experiences working with the students, on opportunities which arose and on structural boundaries which appear to make community critical methodologies in university teaching very difficult.
- community critical methodologies
- higher education
- psychological theory
- qualitative research