Keele psychologist receives international award for innovative teaching in Applied Social and Political Psychology

A Keele psychologist has received international acclaim from a prestigious psychological society by scooping a coveted prize for innovative teaching.

Senior Lecturer Dr Masi Noor, a specialist in social and political psychology, has been awarded the 2020 Innovative Teaching Award from the Washington-based Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPPSI).

The award recognises innovative teaching with an international significance, and is one of the most internationally prominent teaching awards available.

Dr Noor received the award for his role in founding and leading Keele’s MSc in Applied Social and Political Psychology, which studies the psychology of social and political issues and the potential for such knowledge to generate progressive social change.

Through a combination of the political aspects of human psychology with its social psychological dimensions, the course offers students of psychology and related disciplines a unique opportunity to understand and analyse contemporary social and political issues in modern society.

Dr Noor said: “To be selected for this award from a pool of incredibly impressive candidates across the U.S. and the rest of the world is a huge honour. It is also a validation of the vision that I have had for this MSc course.

“Polarisation dominates our communities across the world. It is evident even during the current pandemic, and it undermines our ability to take a new perspective and develop a deeper understanding of those with whom we disagree on a whole host of issues. This MSc course invites students and teaching staff to take on the challenge of addressing this polarisation by entering into transformative dialogues.

“It is tough work, because it goes beyond the classroom to the very practical core of our existence, our visions of what kind of society we want to create and live in. But such challenges are also very rewarding, because they enable students’ professional as well as personal development.

“This award recognises this very hard work, for which I am very grateful. And of course, I am grateful to my teaching team members for their expert contributions to this course. Above all, I am grateful to our local, national, and international students who have joined us in the last two years, shaping the course and allowing themselves to be positively influenced by it.”