2009 APA/Clark University Workshop and Extended Summer Institute for High School Teachers

From the Summer 2009 Psychology Teacher Network Newsletter

The fifth annual APA/Clark University Workshop for High School Teachers was held July 13-15, 2009, at Clark University in Worcester, MA. Twenty-three high school teachers from around the country participated in the workshop. The event was sponsored by Clark University, APA, and the American Psychological Foundation (APF) Lee Gurel Fund, and organized by the APA Education Directorate and Clark University. Presenters included TOPSS members Hilary Rosenthal of Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, IL, and Jeff Norby of West De Pere High School in De Pere, WI; Clark Associate Provost, Dean, and psychology professor Nancy Budwig, PhD; and Clark psychology professor and chair Marianne Wiser, PhD. Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr., PhD, of Texas A&M University, delivered a keynote address entitled Why are Psychologists Keeping Their Science a Secret from the Public? Eric Amsel, PhD, of Weber State University, delivered a presentation called Challenging Introductory Psychology Students’ Folk Beliefs of the Discipline: A Simulation. Dr. Amsel also presented a keynote address entitled Psychology Students’ Understanding of The Scientific Foundation of the Discipline. Maureen McCarthy, PhD, Kennesaw State University, gave a presentation on the APA Online Psychology Laboratory (OPL). The workshop has been made possible through generous gifts from Lee Gurel, PhD, a Clark University alumnus, APA member and longtime APF donor, to both Clark and APF.

"I’ve never had an opportunity to have a professional development workshop devoted solely to teaching psychology," said one of the participants. "It was one of the best organized, friendliest, and most generous of all conferences I have ever attended… What a great chance to meet colleagues from all over the nation."

The fifth annual Clark Workshop coincided with the 100th anniversary of the 1909 Conferences held at Clark, which were organized by then Clark President G. Stanley Hall, and attended by Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and other noted scientists and scholars. Freud delivered his Five Lectures on Psychoanalysis at the 1909 conference, the only lectures he gave in the United States. For more information about the centennial celebration, visit the Freud Revisited website.

At the conclusion of the Clark Workshop, a group of eight master teachers participated in a Summer Institute for Psychology Teachers on July 15-17, 2009. Through funding provided by American Psychological Foundation (APF), Clark University hosted the 2009 Summer Institute that provided an opportunity for these teachers to develop the content for two new TOPSS unit lesson plans on the following topics:

  • History and Perspectives in Psychology
  • Research Methods and Statistics

These new resources will replace the original TOPSS unit lesson plans on An Introduction to the Field of Psychology and The Stats Pack: Statistics Without Fear, and are expected to be published in 2010.