Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) Working Group on the Certification and Training of High School Psychology Teachers
Kenneth A. Weaver, PhD, Chair, Emporia State University
Mary M. Brabeck, PhD, New York University
Jane S. Halonen, PhD, University of West Florida
Arthur M. Horne, PhD, University of Georgia
Debra E. Park, Rutgers University; West Deptford High School, West Deptford, N.J. (Retired)
Michael J. Ray, Verona Area High School, Verona, Wis.
APA Staff Liaisons
Cynthia D. Belar, PhD, ABPP, Education Directorate
Emily Leary Chesnes, Education Directorate
Robin Hailstorks, PhD, Education Directorate
Amber Shifflett, Education Directorate
The was approved as APA policy by the APA Council of Representatives in February 2012.
Suggested bibliographic reference:
American Psychological Association. (2012). . Washington, D.C.: Author.
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The American Psychological Association (APA) Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) Working Group for the Certification and Training of High School Psychology Teachers designed the to promote quality training of high school psychology teachers. Key to student success in high school is an effective teacher who has the knowledge and skills to teach the content specified in the discipline’s national standards. Accordingly, the APA expects high school psychology teachers to have the preparation necessary to teach the course as specified in the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula (APA, 2011), a document that provides learning benchmarks for students taking the high school psychology course. The purpose of these guidelines is to outline training models for the preparation of teachers of high school psychology. Two approaches are presented in the guidelines: one approach presents two curricula and the other approach presents a set of standards.
Use of the terms guidelines and standards
The term guidelines generally refers to pronouncements, statements or declarations that recommend or suggest specific actions, goals or endeavors. In the context of this document, the term guidelines is used to describe these recommended models for teacher training. As noted in the APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major (APA, 2007), the education community and other scientific disciplines use the term guidelines to refer to recommendations that are aspirational or advisory in intent.
Additionally, use of the term standards in this document is consistent with national practices in K-12 education when disciplinary societies, teacher organizations or other nonregulatory groups develop benchmark learning objectives. As used in this document, the terms guidelines and standards are consistent with the provisions of the APA policy on Developing and Evaluating Standards and Guidelines Related to Education and Training in Psychology (Section I C) (APA, 2004), as passed by the APA Council of Representatives.
Process of developing the Guidelines for Preparing High School Psychology Teachers
In 2008, the APA Committee of Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) recommended archiving an APA policy on Guidelines for the Specialty and Training and Certification of Secondary School Teachers of Psychology (1978). The policy was archived in August 2009. In September 2009, upon a recommendation from TOPSS, the APA Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) approved a new Working Group on the Certification and Training of High School Psychology Teachers: Kenneth Weaver, PhD, Chair, Emporia State University (Emporia, Kan.); Mary Brabeck, PhD, New York University (New York, N.Y.); Jane Halonen, PhD, University of West Florida (Pensacola, Fla.); Arthur Horne, PhD, University of Georgia (Athens, Ga.); Debra Park, Rutgers University (Camden, N.J.), West Deptford High School, retired (Westville, N.J.); and Michael Ray, Verona Area High School (Verona, Wis.). The BEA Working Group was charged with developing a new policy document that outlines the recommended education and training a high school psychology teacher should have in order to teach the introductory psychology course.