Reenvisioning Undergraduate Teaching in Psychology Through Structural Competency and Radical Justice

Alisha Ali, Corianna E. Sichel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychology as a discipline faces growing criticism of being out of touch with the social justice struggles of people who are marginalized and disempowered. To meaningfully respond to this criticism, we musteducate the current generation of students in psychology to take on the identity of agents of justice. Thisinvolves training to meet the needs of those living with racism and other forms of oppression, and thoseresiding in communities at risk. In this article, we present a new model for teaching undergraduatepsychology based on the structural competency paradigm. The teaching model we present is grounded in theassumption that psychology students must be trained to be structurally competent if they are to be ethicallyand practically prepared for the realities awaiting them in their career trajectories. We discuss variousteaching challenges and how our teaching model, informed by the tenets of structural competency andradical justice, can equip psychology undergraduates with the knowledge and skills to become not onlyintellectually engaged thinkers but also leaders of social change

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Social justice
  • Structural competency
  • Undergraduate teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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