APA Outlines New Guidelines for High School Psychology Teachers

Photo of a psychology teacher in a high school classroom.

For professionals with a psychology degree on their resume who may be thinking about transitioning into teaching, the American Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives has issued a new national set of guidelines to better prepare high school teachers in the field.

The new guidelines state that a teacher of psychology knows and can explain major theoretical approaches, research findings and contemporary trends in the science. Teachers will also be expected to demonstrate how psychologists use those findings in their approach to therapy and social issues.
An effective teacher enables students to see the relevance of psychology in their lives, KennethA. Weaver, PhD, chair of APA’s Board of Educational Affairs Working Group for the Certification and Training of High School Psychology Teachers, noted.

APA advocates a two strategy approach for new teachers which also requires the completion of at least 30 credit hours of related science work. The new guidelines also provide recommendations for current high school psychology teachers who do not have the proper credentials.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job opportunities for psychologists are expected to increase faster than the average of other occupations, by 22%, through 2020. 

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