Rigorous education standards set for high school psychology

The Education Directorate strengthened support for high school psychology teachers by distributing new policy documents and promoting professional development opportunities.

The Education Directorate broadly disseminated the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula and the Guidelines for Preparing High School Psychology Teachers: Course-Based and Standards-Based Approaches, two policy documents that support the teaching of high school psychology. Together, they demonstrate the rigor and competency that high school psychology instruction should entail. The policies were presented at APA’s 2012 State Leadership Conference in March, were distributed to numerous state departments of education and will appear in the American Psychologist.

Additionally, Education Directorate staff continued to develop new teaching resources and promote professional development opportunities for teachers, with support from the American Psychological Foundation. Staff also worked with the Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) Task Force on Psychology Major Competencies to revise the APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major as well as the BEA Working Group to Strengthen the Common Core of the Introductory Psychology Course to draft recommendations regarding the introductory course. APA members will be invited to review and comment on these policy documents in 2013.