Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education

The mission of the coalition is to bring together interested psychologists to promote and make publicly accessible applications of the research that psychology has developed to assist the nation in improving the quality of public and private pre-K to 12 education. The coalition further hopes to influence APA’s involvement in policy making and legislation associated with the nation's educational agenda. In addition, the mission of this coalition is to encourage cooperation among those APA entities and affiliates whose focus is on children and youth, and the teaching and learning processes.

  • Improving the quality of the psychology offered in teacher preparation and professional development.

  • Collaborating with other professions that address the needs of children in schools.

  • Making education and schooling more central to APA’s agenda.


The role of psychology and the psychological sciences is often overlooked in our national education debates. A 2001 briefing provided by the National Research Council on the reform agenda for U.S. public schools failed to include the role of psychologists. This omission occurred at nearly the same time as:

  1. A ramp up in discussion of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

  2. Consideration of reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.

  3. New legislation establishing the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) at the United States Department of Education.

  4. The inclusion of education in the revised mission statement of APA.

These events precipitated the establishment of the coalition, spearheaded by APA's Div. 15 (Educational), Div. 16 (School), and Div. 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology). Cynthia Belar, director of APA's Education Directorate, provided funding to support the first year of twice-yearly meetings.

Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education Bylaws (PDF, 25KB)

  • Helped the APA Government Relations Office create language for a definition of teaching skills incorporated as part of the Higher Education Act reauthorization.

  • Generated the instrument, collected data, analyzed and wrote the report on the Teacher Needs Survey.

  • Developed online mini-modules for teachers on various topics including bullying, student misconceptions, formative assessment and practice.

  • Partnered with Isaac Prilleltensky, PhD, (Div. 27) to create an online module directed at teachers to help them cope with the stress involved with their new position. The teacher stress module offers definitions, strategies and resources to help recognize, manage and prevent stress.

  • Partnered with Russ Skiba, PhD to add some language about classroom management modules.

Coalition Efforts
  • Conducting outreach-conference presentations.
  • Serving as a sounding board for education issues at APA from various offices.
  • Developing language for federal legislation.
  • Generating multiple articles in the Monitor about coalition activities.
  • Actively representing the coalition at the annual Educational Leadership Conference.
  • Serving as advisors on various Center for Psychology in Schools and Education activities.