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Thursday, June 19 • 2:00pm - 2:50pm
CON6.06 – Welcome to my Classroom: On the Nature of Human (Room A239)

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In this WTMC session, I will showcase for attendants the opening class of Personality Theory and Research (a 3rd year class at the University of Windsor). Throughout the semester, the class explores the philosophies and perspectives of various personality theorists (viz. Freud, Jung, Allport, Rogers, Maslow, etc.). Because the class includes a high experiential component (personal self-analysis), it is important for students at the start of the year to uncover and explore their own implicit philosophies of human nature so as later to juxtapose them to more formal theories – are we basically good or evil, is behaviour the result mainly of genetics or the environment, are we the product of our past (early childhood experiences) or our future goals? Questions students discuss in small groups include:

What is personality?
What is the self?
What is a healthy personality?
What is an unhealthy one?
What makes us distinctly human?
What gives life purpose or meaning?
What makes us similar to each other?
What makes us essentially different from each other?
Can our personalities change?
Are our selves chosen or handed to us?

After class discussion related to these basic questions, students are ready to explore more formal perspectives on human nature, since the same questions have been asked (and answered) by various personality theorists. For instance, Jung will emphasize spiritualism as the road to mental wellness, whereas Adler will endorse volunteering and social interest). By juxtaposing their current thoughts with more formally espoused philosophies, students should hope to see their views of human nature from a new perspective. This exercise will transform students’ single perspectives (of personal philosophies) into more diverse worldview perspectives. Participants in this session will partake in activities similar to those experienced by students.


Thursday June 19, 2014 2:00pm - 2:50pm EDT
A239 McArthur Hall

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