Sunday, January 3, 2010

APA Psychology National Standards--updated info

My spring semester begins in the morning and I was doing some planning this afternoon.  Our school has finally gotten to the electives for creating curriculum maps and there are no California state psychology standards.  So I began my revisit to the APA National Standards for Psychology.  Kent already highlighted the site this past April, but the URL has changed.

As Kent had written earlier:
So, you've been asked to teach a psychology course and have no idea where to start? At a workshop or meeting of psychology teachers, you are puzzled when someone asks if you follow the domains? When your school administrators ask you to submit a formal curriculum complete with content standards for your high school level psychology class, do you wish someone in the country had one posted online?

Believe it or not, since 1999 TOPSS (Teacher of Psychology in Secondary Schools) has published national standards for a high school psychology course (non-AP). The document has gone through a number of different names, but it is now referred to as "National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula".

The Standards have been endorsed by the National Council of Social Studies (NCSS) and would make an ideal framework for any state's educational standards.

One of my favorite features is the visual map below of the primary domains of psychology.  One strategy of designing a course is to choose one overview topic from each domain to create the foundation of a course (especially those of us who have one semester courses).

The standards can be found online in a PDF format at or from the "Links of Interest" section of this blog. The document can be downloaded by sections or as one complete .pdf file.  It is an outstanding resource.

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