Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Clinical Psychology Competencies

pp 573-608


  • Bethany C. JohnsonAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • , David DiLilloAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • , Calvin P. GarbinAffiliated withUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln


Teaching is an important component of most academic clinicians’ responsibilities, but it often receives the least attention during graduate training. This chapter describes basic and expert competencies underlying teaching at the both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The underlying premise of the chapter is that teaching competence is comprised of fundamental and advanced skills that can be learned, practiced, and mastered. The majority of the work that goes into teaching happens outside of the classroom, and starts with careful course planning. The skills and behaviors necessary for competent teaching—from classroom management to lesson planning and assessment—should be based on explicit educational objectives and goals. Expert teachers not only integrate pedagogy and content knowledge to implement strategies that are more sophisticated than those used by teachers with basic competence, they also incorporate more complex innovations and interventions into their teaching. Instructors at all levels of competence should include systematic reflection and assessment of the efficacy of their teaching in their normal repertoire of skills. As they gain experience and skill, teachers can take a more experimental approach to improving their instructional approach. By applying a scholarly approach to teaching, academic clinicians can more efficiently improve the quality of instruction based on the empirical evidence of learning outcomes. This chapter can be used as a reference for new teachers just beginning their careers, or by experienced teachers looking to improve their methods.