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.

The coalition is working on several ongoing projects based on different aspects of teacher support, including:

  • Early Learning Guidelines (ELGs) toolkit
    This project, lead by Roseanne Flores, PhD, stemmed from a finding by leading specialists in early childhood education that there was no source to find all of the pre-K teaching guidelines in one place. The toolkit functions as a comprehensive "what works" site for teachers. 

  • A module on creativity in the classroom
    Coalition member Steven Pritzker, PhD, (Div. 10: Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts) James Kaufman, PhD, and Ron Beghetto, PhD, are developing an online module addressing creativity in the classroom. Through the use of interviews with renowned scholars in the field and practice based narrative, this module will give an overview of the use of creativity in a classroom context and provide teachers with strategies to use creativity to enhance academic outcomes. This project will be completed by the end of 2013. 

  • An article on core knowledge matrix
    Coalition members identified a list of "drop dead" topics that should be included as part of the teacher education curriculum. These topics were cross referenced with other publications and manuals dealing with the knowledge and skill base for teacher education. The outcome was a foundational matrix. Led by Chair Joan Lucariello, PhD, the coalition is developing brochures and publications based on the top 20. When completed, the top 20 materials can be used as a means to advocate with state certification programs, to design new psychology-rich teacher education programs (both traditional and alternative) and revise current ones. 


coalition members

The coalition currently includes representatives from several divisions and groups, including:

Chair: Joan Lucariello

APA Divisions
  • Div. 5 (Evaluation, Measurement and Statistics)
    Coalition representative: Mary Pitoniak

  • Div. 7 (Developmental Psychology)
    Coalition representative: Timothy W. Curby

  • Div. 8 (Society for Personality and Social Psychology)
    Coalition representative: Joshua Aronson

  • Div. 10 (Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts)
    Coalition representative: Jonathan Plucker 

  • Div. 13 (Consulting Psychology)
    Coalition representative: Markeda Newell

  • Div. 14 (Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology)
    Coalition representative: Eduardo Salas

  • Div. 15 (Educational Psychology)
    Coalition representatives: Tamera Murdock

  • Div. 16 (School Psychology)
    Coalition representatives: Karen Stoiber

  • Div. 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology)
    Coalition representative: Kimberly Howard

  • Div. 27 (Society for Community Research and Action)
    Coalition representative: Mark Aber

  • Div. 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women)
    Coalition representative: Mary Brabeck

  • Div. 42 (Psychologists in Independent Practice)
    Coalition representative: Janice Lepore

  • Div. 46 (Media Psychology)
    Coalition representative: Peter Sheras

  • Div. 49 (Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy)
    Coalition representative: Karin Hodges

  • Div. 51 (Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity)
    Coalition representative: Jim Mihalik

  • Div. 53 (Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology)
    Coalition representative: George  DuPaul

Affiliate Groups
  • APA Board of Educational Affairs (BEA)
    Coalition representative: Sandra Graham

  • APA Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA)
    Coalition representative: Darlene DeMarie

  • Committee on Children, Youth and Families
    Coalition representative: Rosanne Flores
  • Committee for the Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Diversity (CARED)
    Coalition representative: Scott Graves
  • Committee on Psychological Testing and Assessment (CPTA)
    Coalition representative: Robyn Hess
  • Committee of Teachers of Psychology at Secondary Schools (TOPSS)
    Coalition representative: Nancy Fenton
  • Psi Chi® — The National Honor Society in Psychology
    Coalition representative: Jason Young
December 2014 Coalition Meeting

From December 5-7, 2014, coalition members convened at APA headquarters to discuss the status of several of the ongoing projects, as well as to establish new ones. 

Read minutes from the December 2014 meeting (PDF, 210KB).

The next coalition meeting will take place June 5-7, 2015.