Thursday, March 31, 2016

Please Help with a Student's Project

I (Kent) received the following from Alan Feldman concerning a project one of his student’s is doing. Many of you know Alan and his commitment to high school psychology. Please consider helping Alan’s student with his research. Thanks in advance. Kent Korek


My name is Chris Theuerkauf and I am doing research on what high school teachers and students feel and think about Milgram’s obedience research. I am a high school student, and I cannot go around to schools to distribute the survey, so I am asking for your assistance in collecting data for my research. There are two links at the bottom of this email, one is for teachers and one is for students. These surveys will ask questions that will measure students and teachers perceptions of Milgram’s research. If you have not covered the Milgram study yet, I ask that you wait to distribute the link until after you cover the material. The ideal place to put the student link is on a webpage that your students have access to, like a class website. It is important that as many students participate as possible, but it is certainly not required. In addition, I ask you to take the teacher survey as well. This will allow for a comparison between teachers responses and student responses. In addition, if you know of any High School Psychology teachers that would be willing to participate in this survey, please feel free to send the links along with the instructions. I do ask that you and your students only complete the survey once so there will not be any duplication of the data. I thank you for your cooperation, and if you have any questions about the survey do not hesitate to email me at


Chris Theuerkauf


Teacher Survey

Student Survey

NCSS Awards Announcement

Check out this link in order to examine the possible awards that are available from the National Council for the Social Studies this year. While not strictly psychology, there is certainly room for us here. There are so few of us who teach only psychology, we are probably involved in other areas as well.

In addition to teacher of the year, there are also awards for geographic education, global understanding, research, and more.

Check it out for more information.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

TOPSS News, Grants, Announcements, and Membership

What follows below is a press release from the American Psychological Association's Psychology teacher organization, TOPSS (Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools). If you are not already a member of this organization and teach high school psychology, please join. If you are a student and your psych teacher does not belong, encourage her or him to join.

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

March 29, 2016

Dear Colleague,

I hope this message finds you well. The TOPSS Committee is meeting in Washington, DC, this weekend (April 1–3) to discuss multiple agenda items and consider how APA and TOPSS can best support you and all high school psychology teachers. I will share a summary of our meeting with you later this spring. In the meantime, you may want to read the 2015 TOPSS Annual Report to see what the committee discussed and achieved last year. Highlights include continued support of regional networks for teachers, recognition of teachers and students and a membership satisfaction survey.

There is much to look forward to this spring and summer. Please watch for the TOPSS spring mailing, which includes academic achievement certificates for you to award your outstanding students. As we look ahead to the summer, we hope you can take part in at least one of the following:
  • APA/Clark University Workshop (April 15 deadline) – This three-day workshop is an outstanding professional development and networking opportunity for high school psychology teachers, featuring a variety of sessions on psychology content and activities for the classroom. Travel stipends and scholarships are available!
  • APA Convention and a Pre-Convention Workshop for Introductory Psychology Teachers (July 1 deadline) – The APA convention will take place in Denver, CO, August 4–7. TOPSS will sponsor three invited addresses, and the Education Directorate is sponsoring a full-day workshop on August 3 on hard-to-teach topics and ethics and teaching. Funding is available to attend the convention! You can apply for up to $500 to support travel, hotel and registration costs through the APF Professional Development Awards (April 25 deadline).
  • If you teach Advanced Placement (AP) psychology and will be at the AP Reading in June, TOPSS will host a get-together at the reading on June 10 for those interested in finding out more about TOPSS. This will be a good time to meet other TOPSS members and play a game of hi/low facilitated by members of the TOPSS Committee. 
The TOPSS website always has the latest news and resources. Beyond the opportunities mentioned above, we especially hope you’ll consider applying for the following:
On behalf of the TOPSS Committee, we thank you for being a part of our great organization.
Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions or suggestions.
R. Reed
R. Scott Reed, MEd
Hamilton High School, Chandler, AZ
2016 TOPSS Chair

23rd Annual APS-STP Teaching Institute - Chicago

 Wowza! Check out the speaker line-up at the 23rd Annual APS-STP Teaching Institute in Chicago! I wish I could attend - these are some of my favorite humans and psychology teachers! If you are around the Chicago area, I guarantee this would be worth your time!

23rd Annual APS-STP Teaching Institute

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Thursday, March 24, 2016

London Taxi Drivers and Brain Wiring

A reader shared this article link and video about London taxi drivers. In their test, which takes years to prepare for, they must memorize every street and address in London. This rewires their brains. More details can be found at these links.

Scientific American Article
Link for Video from National Geographic
Second Video Link
Article in Nat Geo about the subject
Article in Wired

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Monday, March 21, 2016

Help for Will Elmhorst's family

This blog post isn't going to be the most cheerful post ever, but it might be one of the more important ones.

Many readers of this blog might already know Wil Elmhorst - Psych teacher, author, friend of all high school psych. teachers, and really good guy. Below is a message from Daria Schaffeld - if you can help Wil's family, I know he'd appreciate it.

"This weekend I was contacted by Kent Korek and was asked to spread some sad news about Wil Elmhorst, psychology teacher at Marshfield High School.  Wil has quietly touched all of our careers through his work with TOPSS, as a textbook author, co-founder of COWTOPSS, AP Reader and mentor.
Wil and his family could use our help.  Will's 26 year-old son, who is a teacher in China, is facing a terrible health crisis. This past Tuesday, the doctors found two brain tumors and he has bleeding on the brain. His chances of survival are slim. A Go Fund Me campaign has been started for travel expenses and the $30,000 upfront fee the hospital requires to do the surgery.
Please follow the link to see more of Noah's story and a picture of him with his new wife. Every little bit will help.

Hope for Noah? 

As always, please feel free to contact me if I can every be of assistance. Take care and thank you for considering,"

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How to Teach - advice from Cognitive Psychology

The great Stephen Chew of Samford University (former AP Psychology reader, great guy, and friend of all high school psych teachers everywhere) produced this series of videos about the relationships between cognitive psychology and teaching. They won't win any "innovative/flashy use of video" awards, but the information is SOLID, and I think I gained more from these videos than most of my teaching methodology courses:

The Cognitive Principles of Effective Teaching (series of 5 videos) 

Related posts/resources:

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Summer Programs for Interested Psychology Students

I often get a smattering of students who LOVE PSYCHOLOGY SO MUCH that they want to do something psychology related in the summer. There are some great opportunities out there and
I found this list featured in the Feb 2016 PTN to be really informative and easy to send along to my interested students.

Image result for brain at the beach

Here is the link of possible summer opportunities if you missed it.

Thank you to Laura Nemeroff for compiling it!

-- Posted by Amy Ramponi

Friday, March 4, 2016

Phi-TOPSS announces Brain Week Meetup and Brain Dissection at Regional Conference!

In honor of BRAIN WEEK (information from the DANA Foundation can be found here) being held March 14-20, Phi-TOPSS introduces a new workshop, "THE BRAIN" with Dr. Brian Balin of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).

Special thanks to the American Psychological Association and TOPSS and the American Psychological Foundation for providing a grant for this workshop.

Dr. Balin's research is focused mainly on Alzheimer's, but he will discuss other neuroscience topics as well.

If you want a hand-on workshop where a human brain will be dissected as well as FREE materials to support your teaching of Neuroscience...this workshop is for you. It is FREE, but only for psychology teachers.

The event will be held on Saturday, March 19th at Penn Manor High School in Millersville, PA.

Check out more info or register here

Contact Maria Vita for more information

Image result for maria vitaImage result for maria vitaImage result for maria vita

--- Posted by Amy Ramponi

Open Educational Resources for Psychology

Is your district all abuzz with "Open Educational Resources" (OER) news? Did you see the video the White House/Michelle Obama posted about the free ebooks available for schools/students? There's quite a bit of chatter about it in my district, and I'm cautiously intrigued.

The promise of free, high quality resources for psychology teachers and students is obviously attractive, and it fits with the general "give psychology away for free" sentiment of our community. I love the tendency of psychology teachers to SHARE, freely and without concern for credit, etc. It's made our community stronger, and more high school students have access to high quality materials.

I have some mixed feeling, though: publishers of traditional textbooks (shout out to Worth and other publishers!) provided great, non-free resources to us in the past, and I wonder what might be lost if the OER movement eats into their market share. I hope the world of textbooks evolves toward some kind of balance between open, free resources and for-cost textbook (and other) materials.

As that evolution progresses, there are MANY free resources available to you and your students! This site provides a good overview of the OER "movement."

I'm intrigued by this free OER college level Psych textbook. I wonder if any AP teachers use this book yet, and how the college board might react to it during the syllabus audit?

 Psycholgist Rajiv Jhangiani posted a list of OER psychology links on his blog:
If you know of other resources, please post them in the comments. Happy hunting!

posted by Rob McEntarffer