Dr. Randall Young
Department of Psychology
“My basic approach to teaching is to get students involved in active discussions, to develop their thinking and writing skills, to show them the generalizability of the material and to inspire them through my own enthusiasm with the material," said Dr. Randall Young, who is an associate professor of psychology.
Young said that, in order to achieve these goals, he has crafted a specific teaching philosophy that is centered on three principles: to foster the students’ intrinsic motivation for the course material, to develop and enhance the students’ ability to look at information critically and empirically, and to connect the material of the course to students’ lives as young adults in a liberal arts environment.
“I have found that the best way to make the students interested is to make as many connections between the course material and their own lives as possible,” said Young. “To this end, I work hard on developing examples from my life that I can give as prompts to the students. Then, I try to ask as many questions as possible to elicit student participation and connections.”
He said the best way to make students interesting is to “enhance their own intellectual curiosity.” The more students are curious, he said, the more questions they will ask. The more questions they ask of themselves, him and each other, the more interesting they and the class become.
“One of the aspects of my teaching that I pride myself on is my willingness to try new assignments and materials,” he said. “I hope I never feel like a course is ‘done’ being prepared, no matter how many times I have taught it.”
Young earned his bachelor’s degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, his master’s from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
“I grew up in a family of professionals and I have always valued the impact that teachers, lawyers, doctors and other professionals have on society,” he said. “I admired many of my own teachers and professors along the way and I hope I can do for others what they did for me.”
In 2013 Young received the College’s Ben and Janice Wade Outstanding Teaching Award. The award, established in 1998, recognizes excellence in classroom teaching.