Tuesday, March 25, 2014

TOPSS and the APA public info campaign

In the sidebar on the left you may notice a new icon and link for the APA's Teachers of Psychology in the Secondary Schools. As someone who has been serving on the TOPSS board for five years, I'll admit to feeling pretty foolish recently about having not made that link more prominent before. (There has always been a link on the bottom left amid a host of other links.)

I've just recently returned from a TOPSS board meeting and it's so energizing to work with other high school teachers, college professors, and APA staff members to make high school psychology better for all of us. One thing I don't think that we (the TOPSS board) always do well is to say what we are working one, what we have accomplished, and what our limitations are. Sometimes people will share terrific ideas with TOPSS that we might not implement because it's beyond the scope of what we can do, or because it's not something that is feasible. We are part of the APA, and while that it always an incredibly good thing, sometimes there are "quick and dirty" solutions that could work for teachers but might not always be something that would earn the APA imprimatur.

One thing we learned about at our last meeting was the APA's new public information campaign called Psychology: Science in Action which has the great URL psychscienceaction.org. The campaign is designed to help the general public see that psychology is about much more than just people who are involved in mental health. (If you don't think that's the public perception of psychology, ask a random stranger what they think a psychologist does for a living!)

There are obviously great applications to our classrooms as well, where you can expose students to not only the wide variety of career paths psychologists can follow, but also the incredible diversity in the people who pursue psychology as a career. As part of that idea, the APA will be mailing classroom posters in the next few months to TOPSS members about this campaign so that students can be reminded daily that psychology IS a science and a terrific idea for a career.

If you have comments about the campaign or TOPSS in general, please leave them below or send them to me (ashejones@gmail.com).

--posted by Steve

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