Monitor on Psychology - September 2011 - (Page 98)

teaching excellence APA recognizes top teachers of high school psychology — professionals on the front line of APA’s ongoing work to educate the public about psychology. Honoring A PA has honored three teachers who’ve made exemplary contributions in teaching with the association’s 2011 Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) Excellence in Teaching Award. The winners are: • Nancy Diehl, PhD, of Hong Kong International School, Tai Tam, Hong Kong. • Sheryl Freedman, of Walt Whitman High School, Bethesda, Md. • Melissa Kennedy, PhD, of Holy Names Academy, Seattle. “These teachers all have a passion for psychology and an incredible depth of knowledge,” says TOPSS Chair Jeanne Blakeslee. Diehl was honored for her innovative and creative teaching methods. At her school, an international institution with a U.S.-based curriculum, she uses such hands-on, collaborative and experiential methods as a version of the “speed dating” game in which each student portrays an important psychologist and explains that person’s work to their partners in three minutes. Follow-up assessment to the exercise involves choosing which psychologist you’d go on holiday with and explaining why. “I feel like that’s one of the hardest things to teach, those names, because the research and content in psychology are inherently interesting … but tagging the name onto it is harder for students,” Diehl says. Diehl Freedman Kennedy Freedman was recognized for fostering deep learning and understanding of the brain through creative activities. “What I try to infuse throughout the units and the content are more active methods, involving more movement, experiential learning and sometimes learning through game play,” she says. For example, she developed a novel way for students to learn the location and function of 12 parts of the brain by combining images, words and physical movements. “I’m looking for that ‘aha!’ moment,” she says. Kennedy was honored for giving students hands-on learning experiences, such as learning about brain structure by dissecting a sheep’s brain. She says her previous clinical experience leading group therapy sessions helps her make sure that her students grasp the content. “I think it influences my ability to listen to them, and hold their curiosity, and read their expressions to see if they’re understanding the material,’’ she says. APA’s TOPSS has presented the annual teaching excellence award since 2000. This year’s winners received a framed certificate, an engraved award, a $300 cash prize, a copy of APA’s “High School Psychology Video Toolkit” DVD and a free TOPSS membership renewal for 2012. To nominate a teacher for next year’s award, go to —C. MuNSEy Monitor on psychology • septeMber 2011 98

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - September 2011

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011
President’s Column
From the CEO
Supreme Court hears psychologists on prison and video game cases
Antipsychotics are overprescribed in nursing homes
New MCAT likely to recognize the mind-body connection
A $2 million boost for military and families
In Brief
On Your Behalf
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Speaking of Education
An uncertain future for American workers
Advocating for psychotherapy
Seared in our memories
Helping kids cope in an uncertain world
APA and Nickelodeon team up
Muslims in America, post 9/11
Bin Laden’s death
‘They expect us to be there’
Answering the call of public policy
Candidates answer final questions
APA News
Division Spotlight
New leaders
Disaster relief training
Honoring teaching excellence

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011