Resources for Teachers
The science of psychology is present in all of our lives.
Some psychologists do basic research, developing hypotheses and testing them through carefully honed research methods involving observation, experimentation and analysis. Other psychologists apply the discipline’s scientific knowledge to help people, organizations and communities function better. Psychologists working in areas as diverse as brain science, education and forensics conduct research that shapes the policies, technology and systems at the foundation of our society.
Give students the tools they need to explore the world through the lens of psychology.
Tools for You
APA’s Office of Precollege and Undergraduate Education works to advance psychology in secondary schools, community colleges and undergraduate programs by providing information, resources, funding and professional development to faculty, students and the public.
APA’s Society for the Teaching of Psychology provides resources for psychology teachers at all educational levels.
The Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major: Version 2.0 describe student learning outcomes at a “foundation” level, which represents the completion of approximately the first four courses in the major, and at a “baccalaureate” level, which represents expectations for achievement at the conclusion of an undergraduate program.
The APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools provide many teaching resources for high school teachers, and the APA Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges provide resources for community college teachers.
Psychology Teacher Network
APA publishes a quarterly newsletter for psychology teachers at the high school and community college level.
Psychology teachers can expand their knowledge with these videos of presentations from psychology conferences. The APA Education Directorate and the APA Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) have provided these videos for psychology teachers to view and/or use in class as appropriate. These videos were supported by a grant from the American Psychological Foundation.
APA’s high school psychology lesson plans are five- to seven-day units that include a procedural timeline, a content outline, suggested resources, activities and references.
Preview APA’s five-day unit lesson plan for high school students on memory.
Access to unit lesson plans is a member benefit of the APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS). Learn more about membership.
Psychology Science Fairs
Participating in a school psychology club or creating experiments for a science fair can nurture an interest in psychological science and cultivate an understanding of behavior's role in health, policy and society.
Psychologists in Action
Solving Problems Through Team Training
By replicating decision-making scenarios in high-stakes environments, I/O psychologist Eduardo Salas, PhD, is learning how and why mistakes happen. He uses real-world simulations to identify how teams make decisions under stress, and then uses research-based methods to improve team coordination.
Changing Habits, Changing Lives
Health psychologist Deborah Tate, PhD, studies people’s lifestyle choices to find out what it takes to get people to adopt healthier behaviors that can help prevent chronic disease. Her research focuses on improving weight-loss strategies and explores ways technology can help more people benefit from proven psychological interventions.
Keeping the Roads Safe
Cognitive neuroscientist David Strayer, PhD, studies how the brain processes information to better understand what causes driver distraction. By determining what takes our attention off the road, he’s helping to develop regulatory policies that keep us safer behind the wheel.
What Do Psychologists Do?
"I'm a Psychologist"
Susan Clayton, PhD, Conservation Psychologist
Susan Clayton, PhD, is a conservation psychologist who observes zoo visitors to see how they connect with animals and nature. Her data will be applied to change people's behavior and provide healthy environments for people and animals in the future.