New APA policies support the teaching of high school psychology

APA Council of Representatives approves guidelines for course-based and standards-based approaches

In February 2012, the APA Council of Representatives approved the “Guidelines for Preparing High School Psychology Teachers: Course-Based and Standards-Based Approaches” (APA, 2012). The document outlines training models for the preparation of teachers of high school psychology. Two approaches are presented: one approach presents two curricula, and the other presents a set of standards. These guidelines are aligned with the “National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula” (APA, 2011), which provides learning benchmarks for students taking the high school psychology course.

Both policy documents are available through APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS). APA encourages all high school psychology teachers and other interested stakeholders to review and use these documents in the training of new psychology teachers and/or the development of psychology curricula.

As APA works to broadly disseminate and implement both documents, interested members and affiliates are encouraged to assist in grassroots efforts to promote both documents in their states. Members and affiliates are encouraged to consider making contacts from the local to the state level, encouraging schools, school districts, county superintendents, and/or ultimately state departments of education to consider using or adopting the documents (note that teacher preparation programs and state boards/departments of education are the appropriate audience for the guidelines document).

Please contact Emily Leary Chesnes at (202) 572-3013 to request copies of materials or to keep APA updated on local efforts to disseminate either document.