May 28, 2010

APA Awards Outstanding Psychology Teachers with TOPSS Excellence in Teaching Award

Recipients recognized for classroom strengths and significant contributions to teaching psychology.

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

Award winners are Scott Reed of Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz ., and William James of Milford High School in Highland, Mich. They were recognized for exemplary teaching and for their commitment to academic and professional excellence.

"This year's winners exemplify what a national award should recognize,” said TOPSS Chair Katherine Minter. “Our recipients have, first and foremost, demonstrated excellence in their classrooms, teaching psychology to students -- but they have also gone beyond the classroom and shared their psychology knowledge and skills with other teachers at district, regional and even national levels. This advances the overall quality of teaching in psychology and ultimately benefits students across the nation. We honor that.”

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 2011 membership year. The ActivePsych CD series was donated by Worth Publishers.

Through APA’s Education Directorate, 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 1,700 high school teacher affiliates of APA, 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 18 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 classes 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.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 152,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.