APA's Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education (CPSE) hopes psychologists will urge K-12 teachers to complete a nationwide survey aimed at pinpointing how psychologists can better meet teachers' professional development needs. The multiple-choice survey, which can be completed in about 10 minutes, asks teachers questions on such professional development areas as their classroom management, instructional practices, classroom diversity and family and community outreach.
CPSE is made up of 13 APA divisions and APA groups, including the Board of Educational Affairs, Psychology Teachers at Community Colleges, Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment, Council of Representatives' Child and Adolescent Caucus, Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools.
"We really want to take a look at the kinds of problems teachers have and how we can assist them through training," says CPSE Chair Stephen Rollin, EdD, a professor in the combined counseling and school psychology program at Florida State University.
In 2004, CPSE piloted the survey nationwide on approximately 900 K-12 teachers. In this latest round of data collection, CPSE is seeking a national representative sample of teachers from urban, suburban and rural schools.
"My hope is that as psychologists we'll start to understand the needs of teachers and do a better job of tailoring our research and practice to enhance children's learning," says psychologist Marc Atkins, PhD, who represents APA's Div. 53 (Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology) within CPSE. Atkins is a psychology professor in the University of Illinois at Chicago psychiatry department.
CPSE also hopes that the survey's findings can be used to better tailor APA professional development courses to teachers based on their needs.
Rena Subotnik, PhD--director of APA's Center for Psychology in Schools and Education--encourages APA members to help distribute the survey to K-12 teachers. "If each member could just get at least one teacher to fill it out, that would be incredible," she says.
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