After 30 years of working for the Lincoln Public Schools (LPS; Nebraska) as a high school teacher and a curriculum developer, I recently made the jump to higher education. My professional identity during my time with LPS was centered around the teaching of psychology. This change from secondary school education to a university has given me time to pause and reflect on those 30 years. Often overlooked in importance, reflection is a good practice for all teachers. During the past three decades, the teaching of high school psychology has come a long way.
Pre K – 12 Teachers
Over the last quarter century, as public education has made a hard shift towards “accountability” and increased standardized testing, the trend towards the use of research-based instruction in classrooms has become nearly as ubiquitous as the Scantron sheets students are asked to bubble in multiple times each semester.
My recent blog titled Why Your Freshman Year in College Will NOT Be 13th Grade must have struck a particularly sensitive nerve in a very large group of people because it has received over 7,000 views.
We have all heard stories about teachers who have been assaulted and continue to work in fear that they may be victimized by one of their students. In fact 80% of teachers in a nation-wide survey reported being victimized at least once within the current or past school year.
From ESEA to ESSA:
For you policy-wonks out there, psychologists included, you certainly are aware that Congress passed, with bi-partisan support, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.
Professional development opportunities for high school psychology teachers have traditionally been hard to come by. In the past, the only significant opportunities to see presentations on best practices in the teaching of high school psychology were limited to the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) annual meeting or the Advanced Placement Annual Conference. Both are outstanding opportunities for professional growth but typically require significant travel and expensive conference fees.