CPSE Ongoing Projects

Psychology of High Performance

  • Coalition for Psychology of High Performance
    Funded by the American Psychological Foundation, the Coalition for Psychology of High Performance (PDF, 169KB) has three main goals. The first is to look at how high performance in youth is manifested, studied, measured, and discussed in academic and professional psychology. The second is to study how psychology contributes to high performance. Lastly, to identify the generalizable psychological principles of high performance that can be applied across domains.

Teacher Education

  • Applying psychological science to the analysis of data for continuous teacher education program improvement
    A task force co-sponsored by APA’s Board of Educational Affairs and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation has developed a practical, user-friendly resource for teacher education practitioners and policymakers on how to best use data to make decisions focused on program improvement. The resource concentrates on the three most common data sources for evaluating the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs: teaching observations; satisfaction surveys from graduates, employers and k-12 pupils; and pupil growth on standardized tests. This project, chaired by Frank Worrell, PhD, is designed to lend a constructive and informed voice based on psychological science to discussion of teacher education preparation quality. BEA has authorized the distribution of the draft document to boards and committees as well as broadly to the education community to get feedback on its utility, accuracy and comprehensiveness.
  • Core Psychology for Teacher Education (CPTE): Psychological science applied to teaching and learning in science classrooms
    CPSE is working in collaboration with Div. 15 (Educational Psychology) to conduct a fall virtual conference on the applications of psychological science to teacher preparation in elementary science education. The effort is being led by Ron Marx, PhD and Eric Anderman, PhD.
  • Article on core knowledge matrix
    As part of the initial research for the Core Psychology project, 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. The coalition, led by its chair, Joan Lucariello, PhD, is developing brochures and publications based on the matrix. When completed, the matrix article can be used as a means to advocate with state certification programs, as well for designing new psychology rich programs (both traditional and alternative) and revising current ones.

Success in the Classroom

  • BEA Golden Psi Award 
    The Golden Psi Award came out of a working group session at a BEA consolidated meetings in March 2011. A task force was selected to develop and launch the award, and review applications. After reviewing applications from the western region of the U.S., Clover Avenue Elementary School, a Los Angeles public school, was selected to be the very first recipient based on its successful strategies in raising student achievement and social/emotional growth.
  • Early Educational Tool Kit
    This project 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 goal is to create such a “what works” site that will act as a comprehensive resource for teachers. It will be in the form of a series of informational and interactive webpages. The project is being led by Roseanne Flores, PhD.
  • Module on creativity in the classroom
    Coalition member Steven Pritzker, PhD (Div. 10, Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts) along with James Kaufman, PhD, and Ron Beghetto, PhD, are developing an online module addressing creativity in the classroom. Though the use of interviews with renowned scholars in the field and practice based narrative, this module gives an overview of the use of creativity in a classroom context and supplies teachers with strategies to use creativity to enhance academic outcomes.
  • Multidisciplinary teams in a school environment
    Conceived by coalition member Sylvia Rosenfeld, PhD, (Div., 13 Consulting Psychology), this project will provide a curriculum for professionals working in teams in K-12 educational settings to enhance student success. The objective of the curriculum is to develop the following skills for team members: communication, leadership, situation monitoring and facilitating mutual support. Training materials will include a set of didactic lecture slides, examples of group discussion questions and templates for course evaluations.
  • K-12 Behavioral Social Science Education
    Rena Subotnik is representing APA’s Education Directorate in a working group established by the National Research Council on the teaching and learning of the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) in K-12 education. This working group facilitates collaboration and communication among experts in the educational field and gathers information to develop short-term and long-term strategies aimed at strengthening the scope, content and rigor of SBS in K-12 education. Among other activities, the group may generate related NRC-sponsored workshops or consensus studies on the teaching and learning of SBS in K-12 education. A subset of the activities was to comment on the Next Generation Science Standards as they relate to principles of psychology. APA submitted comments on three iterations of the standards.


  • Study of the Impact of Specialized Public High Schools of Science, Mathematics and Technology
    In Sept. 2008, CPSE, in collaboration with UVA, was awarded a $1 million grant by the National Science Foundation for a project that focuses on specialized public SMT high school graduates who completed high school within the last four-six years, and compares outcomes with similarly talented individuals who participated in out of school science enrichment programs and graduated from traditional high schools in the last four-six years. The goal of the study is to identify variables from the secondary school years that contribute most to maintaining student commitment to a career in science, math and technology in the form of completing an undergraduate STEM degree. The results of data collection with 25 schools and two Talent Search programs was that both groups had 50 percent (or higher) rates of completing a STEM degree, and there was no statistically significant difference between the two forms of talent development (science schools and summer programs). CPSE was invited to present preliminary outcomes to the Department of Education and the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the fall of 2012. As a follow up from these meetings, data are being collected from study participants who agreed to be contacted again, the College Board, and Presidential Early Career Awardees for Science and Engineering.