September 1, 2009

APA Awards Outstanding Psychology Teachers With Excellence in Teaching Award

The Excellence in Teaching Award recipients are recognized for their strengths in the classroom as well as for their significant contributions to the profession of teaching psychology

WASHINGTON—Two high school psychology teachers have been selected by the American Psychological Association's Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) for its prestigious APA TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Award.

Award winners are Trudy Loop of The Altamont School, Birmingham, Ala., and Jeff Norby of West De Pere High School, De Pere, Wis. They were recognized for exemplary teaching and for their commitment to academic and professional excellence.

"The Excellence in Teaching Award recipients are recognized for their strengths in the classroom as well as for their significant contributions to the profession of teaching psychology," said TOPSS Chair Will Elmhorst. "This year's recipients are among the most talented teachers in psychology and their leadership advances the quality of teaching in classrooms around the nation."

Psychology teachers' students and peers from around the country submitted their nominations for the award. Nominated teachers were asked to provide a letter of reference from a former student, colleague or supervisor as well as an outline for a psychology-related lesson plan and examples of activities, demonstrations, or programs related to the topic. The winners were selected based on their submissions, as well as for their roles in promoting professional development activities and their leadership in the field.

Each winner receives a framed certificate, award, cash prize of $300, a copy of the ActivePsych CD series, and a free TOPSS membership renewal for the 2010 membership year. The ActivePsych CD series was donated by Worth Publishers.

TOPSS offers teaching materials, professional development opportunities, a speakers' bureau, the Psychology Teacher Network quarterly newsletter, National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula and programs for high school psychology teachers and students. There are approximately 1,500 high school teacher affiliates of the American Psychological Association, and this number continues to grow as the organization reaches out to more than 6,000 high school psychology teachers in the United States. Psychology is a popular high school course and enrollment numbers have been increasing over the last 17 years. In 2009, approximately 150,000 students took the advanced placement (AP) psychology examination, making it one of the fastest growing AP exams. Regular and international baccalaureate psychology are also taught at the high school level.

The mission of TOPSS is to promote the scientific nature of introductory and advanced high school psychology; to meet curricular needs of secondary school teachers; and to provide opportunities for high school students to be recognized and rewarded for their academic excellence. Learn more about TOPSS.