Recipients share thoughts on APF grant awards

Interviews with the 2011 APF professional development award recipients

By Steve Jones, MA

In 2011 the APA Education Directorate announced the first recipients of new professional development grants awarded by the American Psychological Foundation (APF). Seven teachers received the new APF Professional Development Awards for High School Psychology Teachers, and one teacher received the first APF High School Psychology Teacher Network Grant. The professional development awards provided up to $500 to support travel, registration, and related costs for high school psychology teachers to attend psychology and/or teaching conferences, and the teacher network grant provided funding to support the development of a local network of high school teachers. New grantees were announced for 2012 (see 2012 APF award recipients announcement in this issue). 

TOPSS Chair-Elect Steve Jones asked the 2011 APF grant recipients to comment on the grants they received and what they got out of the grant experience. Their comments follow.

Recipients of a 2011 APF Professional Development Award

Lori Fisher

At the NCSS conference, I attended a session that discussed the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula and presented essential questions for different topics in psychology. This session was extremely helpful; not only did the presenters present their valuable insights about the standards, but they also provided examples of solidly written essential questions that have helped me frame the topics I teach in my class and inspire me as I move into the next semester of my introduction to psychology course.

Bernadette Gerace

I was able to fully participate in the NCSS conference by presenting a session with a fellow AP Psychology teacher. I attended almost all of the sessions geared toward AP Psychology, and I learned valuable demonstrations and activities to add to my lessons. Finally, I was able to meet one of the most famous and important psychologists of our time, Philip Zimbardo, and listen to him speak about his newest research, research that will undoubtedly become a part of our curriculum in the near future. 

Gary Grandon

The grant program provides both incentive and necessary funds for teachers to get up to date on various topics. I very much appreciated hearing new ideas on active learning activities in psychology teaching at an AP Psychology Teachers Conference in Charlotte, N.C.

Joyce Jarosz Hannula

I came home from the APA convention with more knowledge; adjustments for better teaching, especially from the sessions recommended by TOPSS; ideas for student research; and admiration for the authors, teachers, and researchers I heard. I left the conference enriched both as an individual and an educator.

Jan Henly

I felt fortunate to be able to attend the APA conference in Washington, D.C. I found what I attended to be very interesting, and most importantly, found that it validated knowledge I already have.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to have had this experience.

Sean Hill

I attended an incredible demonstration of psychological experiments at the APA Convention that could be done in the classroom to really pique students’ interest. In addition, I was able to sit in on sessions devoted solely to the teaching of psychology. This was wonderful because there is not much professional development offered specifically for psychology teachers where I live. This led to being able to network with other psychology instructors, specifically at the high school level, and to discussions about teaching psychology with people who are devoted to the profession.

Yadira Sanchez

I was happy to attend the 34th NITOP Conference and enjoyed being able to share the experience with such a wonderful group of committed psychology professors. In all the workshops and sessions, I learned something that can certainly be applied in class for better teaching and better understanding.

Kristian Martineau, Recipient of the 2011 APF High School Psychology Teacher Network Grant

I feel very lucky that we were able to get the APF Grant to help fund what we hope will be the first of many meetings of the NC Teachers of Psychology. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a yearly meeting of the group, and as word spreads of our new organization, more psychology teachers will join us.