Staying Current as a Teacher of Psychology

Whether you are an experienced psychology teacher or just starting your NQT year there are always going to be developments in the area of psychology and a need to stay current. Here I’ve collated lots of links and resources, some free, some paid, that I think all psychology teachers should consider. If you can think of anything that I’ve missed then contact me.

Magazines and Journals

Keeping up-to-date with current research in psychology, and the teaching of psychology is a great pleasure of the teaching psychology. Here are a range of magazines and journals that will keep you current with new research in psychology and from psychology classrooms.

The Psychologist is the monthly publication of the BPS which is free to members or you can access the free archive which contains most of the articles. It contains great feature articles (like Phil Banyard’s recent “Where is psychology’s non-stick frying pan?“), reviews of books and resources, and current research for all psychologists.

Also from the BPS is the Psychology Teaching Review, which is a quarterly journal published by the Division of Academics, Researchers & Teachers in Psychology. This is a peer reviewed journal that you get free with membership of DARTP or you can buy individually if you see an issue you’d like from the BPS shop.

Teaching of Psychology is the journal from the APA Division 2 for Teaching of Psychology (you get free access with membership of the division). If you teach psychology at a high school, introductory college, or higher level, you will find something of practical use in every issue of Teaching of Psychology. This indispensable journal offers creative and hands-on articles that help you use a variety of resources (for example, technology as a teaching tool) to enhance student learning.

Psychology Learning and Teaching (PLAT) is an international peer-reviewed journal devoted to enhancing knowledge of how to improve learning and teaching of psychology. To this purpose, PLAT publishes research articles, reviews, target articles and corresponding comments as well as reports on good and innovative learning, teaching and assessment practices.

As a member of The Association for the Teaching of Psychology (below) you get a magazine, ‘ATP Today’, three times a year. This contains reviews, feature articles and information from psychology teachers in the UK, for psychology teachers in the UK.

Psychology Review is aimed more at students, but it’s still interesting for teachers to have a flick through. Especially good to get a school subscription, or point it out to your students to subscribe to as well.

Books & Resources

One of the most downloaded resources in the psychology section of Resourcd.com. Brilliantly compiled by Michael Griffin with help from Resourcd and TES users, the Psychology Teachers Toolkit is crammed full of inspiring and practical ideas for psychology teachers. Loads of ideas, activities and assessment strategies for psychology teachers – there’s not a lot more you need.

The BPS will send you some great Psychology Careers Posters for free to liven up your classroom and let your students know what the ‘next steps’ are for different careers in psychology.

Teaching Psychology 14-19 is a core text for all training psychology teachers, as well as experienced teachers engaged in further study and professional development. Taking a reflective approach, Matt Jarvis explores key issues and debates against a backdrop of research and theory, and provides guidance on practical ideas intended to make life in the psychology classroom easier.

The BPS Research Digest want to demonstrate how fascinating and useful psychological science can be, while also casting a critical eye over the methods used. They don’t just pick up on the same studies covered by the mainstream media. The editor regularly trawls hundreds of peer-reviewed journals looking for the latest findings from across the breadth of psychological science.

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Associations

There are a wide selection of groups, societies and associations for teachers of psychology. Some are worth the fee, some might not be, you decide. With many of these you get access to a journal or magazine free (see the above list).

If you’re only going to join one group then it has to be the Association for the Teaching of Psychology (£25 annually, discount for student teachers). The ATP organise an annual conference where hundreds of psychology teachers come together to share best practice (and a few drinks) – members get a discount on tickets. You also get ATP Today free three times a year.

The British Psychological Society (£128 annually) has a powerful voice in raising the profile of psychology, developing standards and advancing the discipline. As a member of the BPS you get a copy of The Psychologist free every month as well as access to a whole range of benefits. If £128 is a bit steep for your wallet you can join as an e-subscriber for only £12 a year where you can access digital copies of the Psychologist each month rather than have it pop through your letterbox.

If you are a member of the BPS you can further join the Division of Academics, Researchers & Teachers in Psychology. DARTP promotes the professional interests of psychologists who teach and/or conduct research, whether in a university, school, college or any other academic environment. DARTP aims to facilitate the professional development of academics, researchers and teachers in psychology.

The Society for the Teaching of Psychology ($25/~£15), a division of the American Psychological Association (APA), advances understanding of the discipline by promoting excellence in the teaching and learning of psychology. The Society also strives to advance the scholarship of teaching and learning, advocate for the needs of teachers of psychology, foster partnerships across academic settings, and increase recognition of the value of the teaching profession. You don’t need to be a member of the APA to join and you get the Teaching of Psychology journal free four times a year.

European Federation of Psychology Teachers’ Associations (EFPTA) is a federation of national and regional associations of psychology teachers in schools and colleges in European countries. Members are mainly involved in teaching psychology at lower and upper secondary levels, to school students aged c.13-19 years. Their aim is to promote pre-university psychology education in Europe by facilitating co-operation amongst Psychology Teachers’ Associations.To this end we organise conferences, facilitate student and teacher collaborative projects, conduct research, and engage with other psychologists’ associations and educational organisations in Europe

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Training and INSET

The Association for the Teaching of Psychology Annual Conference is for teachers of psychology and will offer updating sessions on psychology, presentations and workshops on teaching and learning, and opportunities to share good practice. The three-day ATP Annual conference boasts over 50 workshops to enhance your CPD on a wide range of topics from teaching and learning to current research. It is the number one CPD event for teachers of psychology in the UK.

Resourcd Webinars  –  Webinar: Short for Web-based seminar, it is a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the Web using video conferencing software. Resourcd Webinars offer a variety of sessions from big names in psychology from the comfort of your classroom (or living room).

Glyndwr University’s MSc in Teaching of Psychology provides excellent CPD for practising teachers of post-16 Psychology who wish to obtain a Masters level qualification to maximise progression through the teaching procession. Both psychology graduates and graduates in other disciplines are eligible for this programme, which will support progressional development through an advanced study of theoretical developments and contemporary issues combined with the development of teaching and assessment skills.

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Forums, e-Lists and Social Media

There’s a range of other support from forums and e-lists where you can ask questions, get involved in discussions about teaching of psychology and develop your networks.

PsychExchange @ Resourcd is the biggest forum and file sharing site for teachers in the UK. Here you can share ideas, see a massive 20,000 uploaded files from teachers, and get involved in the community.

PsychTeacher PsychTeacher is a moderated discussion list for teachers of psychology at all levels of education that is owned and operated by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology.

Diversity-Teach Listserv focuses on issues related to infusing diversity and international perspectives into the psychology curriculum in addition to diversity-specific courses.  The forum is open to all who are interested in incorporating diversity into their teaching at all levels (including high school, 2-year, 4-year college/university, and graduate school settings).

Teaching in the Psychological Sciences is an electronic-based discussion group developed by the Department of Psychology, and Academic Computing at Frostburg State University. The primary goal of this electronic conference is to promote teaching improvement by providing a daily forum for the exchange of ideas and information.

Psychologists who Tweet – I wrote a post collating lots of psychologists, writers and linked associations in Psychology over at PsychBLOG a year ago. You’ll find loads of people you might want to follow – including me @jamiedavies!

Jamie Davies is an occasionally brilliant, 33-year-old assistant principal, teacher, author, data scientist and educationalist from Yorkshire.

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