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International Literacy DayThe United Nations' (UN) International Literacy Day annually falls on September 8 to raise people's awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its partners promote the day to underline the significance of literacy for healthy societies, with a strong emphasis on epidemics and communicable diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. In countries all over the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom, the day raises people's awareness of and concern for literacy problems within their own communities. The UN General Assembly proclaimed a 10-year period beginning on January 1, 2003, as the United Nations Literacy Decade.
This document is constructed to guide curriculum decisions by providing content and performance standards to guide teachers in designing instruction.
This document is the most recent revision of the document originally entitled National Standards for the Teaching of High School Psychology, first approved by the APA Council of Representatives in August 1999 and revised as the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula in August 2005. Most of society’s challenging problems—including crime, poverty, prejudice, violence, and environmental sustainability— are related to human attitudes, values, and behavior.
High school psychology courses are taught in either the social studies department or the science department because of the departmental structure of American high schools.
If psychology is to be taught as a scientific discipline at the secondary level, there need to be learning objectives. The task force members anticipated the need for periodic revision of the standards due to the continued advancement of psychology as a discipline. The task force members and subsequent working group members designed these standards to enhance quality curricula, express learning goals for students, and promote excellence in the teaching of the high school introductory psychology course.
The goal of the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula is to help teachers and others responsible for the development of psychology curriculum at the secondary school level develop an accurate, comprehensive, and developmentally appropriate introductory psychology course aimed at students in grades 9 through 12.
Teachers should also use the National Standards to promote psychological literacy in their students.
The mission of the original task force that developed these standards and the subsequent revision committees was to prepare a document that can be used by educational leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders to determine what high school psychology students ought to be taught in a high school psychology classroom. The National Standards attempts to represent current knowledge in the field of psychology in developmentally appropriate ways. Unlike previous iterations of the National Standards, this version does not include Performance Indicators, which served as recommendations for how teachers could recognize or assess whether students had learned the course content.
A graphic illustration for this version of the National Standards (see below) shows how psychological knowledge builds on itself and is inherently interconnected.
The Scientific Inquiry Domain is at the center of the structure, demonstrating that the perspectives in psychological science and the research methods, measurement, and statistics used to study psychological phenomena are the foundation of all psychological research and study. The Biopsychology Domain, which includes units on the biological bases of behavior, sensation and perception, and states of consciousness, and the Development and Learning Domain, which includes units on life span development, learning, and language development, are on the second level, demonstrating how biology and the environment influence behavior in significant and fundamental ways. The final outside layer, the Applications of Psychological Science Domain, which includes units on the treatment of psychological disorders, health, and vocational applications, showcases applied areas of psychological science, demonstrating how psychology is used by scientists and practitioners in the larger world.
Figure 1: Graphical illustration of the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula (2011). All of the standard areas within each domain address important areas of psychology, but a high school teacher may not have the time to teach all the units comprehensively, especially in a one-semester course. Teachers of high school psychology need to be keenly aware of the importance of cultural diversity for understanding human behavior and interactions. Teachers may want to consult the Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment Retention and Training Task Force publication Toward an Inclusive Psychology: Infusing the Introductory Psychology Textbook With Diversity Content (APA, 2003), which provides suggestions and examples in order to help publishers, authors, and instructors advance psychology as an inclusive science. As psychology becomes an increasingly global discipline, teachers should present research that represents participants from diverse backgrounds and multiple cultures.
Teachers should engage students in active learning by using simulations, demonstrations, discussion, self-tests, service learning, ethically guided research, and other forms of hands-on teaching strategies. Much of the content included in this document only hints at the wealth of research literature addressing each topic. Many individuals and groups, as listed in Appendix A, contributed to the initial development of these standards. The BEA first approved the beginning of the psychology curricula standards project in spring 1994. The APA Council of Representatives approved the National Standards with the understanding that they should be reviewed and revised on an ongoing basis.
Resources used to create the psychology curricula standards included references to existing high school standards promulgated by similar disciplinary organizations.
APA Commission on Ethnic Minority Recruitment, Retention, and Training in Psychology Task Force. The National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula attempts to represent current knowledge in the field of psychology in developmentally appropriate ways. The National Standards was designed to enhance quality curricula, express learning goals for students, and promote change in the teaching of the high school introductory psychology course.
Development of the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula originated in 1994 when a task force commissioned by the American Psychological Association (APA) identified what students in an introductory high school psychology course should learn. These standards are organized in seven broad content domains: Scientific Inquiry, Biopsychology, Development and Learning, Sociocultural Context, Cognition, Individual Variations, and Applications of Psychological Science.
Content standards are more explicit than domains and are grouped within each standard area. Therefore, a curriculum designed to meet the Perspectives in Psychological Science standard area would include instruction in the aforementioned two content standards.
Within each of the content standards, students should receive instruction that would enable them to meet specific performance standards.
2.1 Discuss the value of both basic and applied psychological research with human and non-human animals. 2.3 Identify the important role psychology plays in benefiting society and improving people’s lives. 1.3 Define systematic procedures used to improve the validity of research findings, such as external validity. 2.1 Identify ethical standards psychologists must address regarding research with human participants.
2.2 Identify ethical guidelines psychologists must address regarding research with non-human animals.
3.1 Define descriptive statistics and explain how they are used by psychological scientists. 3.2 Define forms of qualitative data and explain how they are used by psychological scientists. 3.4 Interpret graphical representations of data as used in both quantitative and qualitative methods.
3.6 Explain how validity and reliability of observations and measurements relate to data analysis. 1.2 Identify the parts of the neuron and describe the basic process of neural transmission. 1.3 Differentiate between the structures and functions of the various parts of the central nervous system. 2.1 List forms of physical energy for which humans and non-human animals do and do not have sensory receptors. 1.1 Explain the interaction of environmental and biological factors in development, including the role of the brain in all aspects of development. 3.1 Describe physical development from conception through birth and identify influences on prenatal development. 2.2 Discuss how acquisition of a second language can affect language development and possibly other cognitive processes. 1.2 Identify how cultures change over time and vary within nations as well as internationally. 1.6 Discuss how privilege and social power structures relate to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.
2.5 Discuss the psychological research on gender and how the roles of women and men in societies are perceived.
2.6 Examine how perspectives affect stereotypes and treatment of minority and majority groups in society.
2.7 Discuss psychological research examining differences in individual cognitive and physical abilities.

2.1 Discuss the history of intelligence testing, including historical use and misuse in the context of fairness. 2.3 Identify measures of and data on reliability and validity for intelligence test scores. 2.3 Explain how other environmental factors influence emotional interpretation and expression. 3.1 Identify biological and environmental influences on the expression and experience of negative emotions, such as fear. 3.2 Identify biological and environmental influences on the expression and experience of positive emotions, such as happiness.
3.5 Analyze how individualistic and collectivistic cultural perspectives relate to personality. If you're reading this, you're still using Internet Explorer 6, a ten-year-old browser that cannot cope with the demands of the modern internet.For the best web experience, we strongly recommend upgrading to Firefox, Google Chrome,Opera, Safari or even the most recent version of Internet Explorer. Activities such as letters to the editor in newspapers, as well as news reports about the concerns for low literacy levels, have occurred as a result of this increased awareness. The assembly also welcomed the International Plan of Action for the Decade and decided for UNESCO to take a coordinating role in activities at an international level within the decade's framework.
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Psychological science, in collaboration with other scientific fields, informs our understanding of these problems and their solutions. In a high school psychology course, students are introduced to the scientific method and the core ideas and theories of psychology. Data from the College Board indicate that 27% of all graduating high school students in 2010 who took the SAT took psychology during high school (College Board Research & Development, 2011). Consequently, these variations in how high school psychology courses are taught mean that students’ first exposure to psychology as a discipline can be vastly different in content and level of challenge from one school to another, unlike what is expected in other fields of science taught in secondary schools. Thus, in 1994 the American Psychological Association commissioned the Task Force for the Development of National High School Psychology Standards to develop standards that identify what students in an introductory high school psychology course should learn. Soon after the original approval in August 1999 of the psychology standards, the National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula Working Group was formed to coordinate the first revision process. The National Standards does not define the discipline of psychology, nor does it prescribe what should be taught in an introductory psychology course at the postsecondary level. Rather, teachers should use the National Standards to determine the overall content and learning objectives for students who are first learning about psychology in high school.
Teachers can achieve this learning outcome by balancing the opportunities for their students to discover new knowledge with opportunities to learn about established research findings and theories about human and non-human animal behavior in their lectures. Use of the term standards in this document is consistent with national practices in K-12 education when disciplinary societies, teacher organizations, or other non-regulatory groups develop benchmark learning objectives for curriculum development and assessment of student learning in particular subjects of study. Psychology is a popular high school course, one that can introduce students to scientific ideas and engage students in the learning process. First, the Domains represent overarching thematic areas that encompass broad areas of psychological knowledge and study.
Instead, the 2011 National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula Working Group invites interested stakeholders and classroom teachers to provide suggested behavioral objectives using an interactive web-based vehicle.
The following explanation is provided to assist the reader in understanding this illustration. The working group provides suggestions in Appendix B for how to include fundamental content into courses. Teachers should also incorporate diversity and individual difference issues throughout the course.
Additionally, the APA Presidential Taskforce on Diversity Education Resources, available online, provides annotated bibliographies of books, journal articles, films, websites, and other media on 20 cross-cutting issues and specific domains.
Psychological research conducted in non-Western cultures often shows how psychological phenomena may operate differently than in Western cultures.
Teachers should help students apply knowledge acquired in their high school psychology course to other high school courses and to everyday life. Thus, high school teachers are strongly encouraged to use various resources during lesson planning to make decisions about what to teach. Virginia Andreoli Mathie, PhD, and her committee from the APA National Conference on Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Education in Psychology (St. The APA Board of Directors approved a Task Force for the Development of National High School Psychology Standards in June 1994, with subsequent approval of the task force by the APA Council of Representatives. The National Standards Working Group then sought broad feedback to update the content standards, performance standards, and performance indicators. APA boards and committees nominated members for a new National Standards Working Group and a National Standards Advisory Panel. The National Standards Working Group met in November 2007 to review all feedback submitted in response to the document. The Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Research, and Practice were used as a guide for informing the committee about content specific to education. College-bound seniors 2010: Recent high school graduates who took psychology during high school, by course type. Among several important considerations for the teaching of high school psychology is the need for teachers to be keenly aware of the importance of cultural diversity for understanding human behavior and interactions. The psychology curricula standards were adopted as APA policy in 1999 and first revised in 2005; this current revision reflects advances in the field and updates in content. Central to the discipline of psychology, the Scientific Inquiry Domain serves as the central and unifying element of the standards. Programme in Physical Education, Exercise Science and Health aims at training physical education teachers, sport coaches, sports management and health promotion personnel for local academic institutions, as well as government and private organisations. Students are required to complete at least 147 units of courses for graduation, including the above 104 units of major courses, 21 units of university & college general education courses, 15 units of language requirement, 1 unit of IT competence and 6 units of elective courses from any discipline. SPED and EDUC courses at 2000 level and above as included in the Major Programme Requirement as well as those labeled as # will be included in the calculation of Major GPA for honours classification. Other activities include literacy day projects, particularly with regard to technology and literature, which are promoted by various organizations including reading associations. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. UNESCO’s logo features a drawing of a temple with the “UNESCO” acronym under the roof of the temple and on top of the temple’s foundation. This material may not be translated or commercially reproduced without prior permission in writing from the publisher.
Considering that psychology has the potential to benefit society and improve people’s lives, an introduction to psychological science merits inclusion in the high school curriculum. As a result, students gain an understanding of the complexities and diversity of human thought and behavior. From the modest beginning of the Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology exam in 1992, taken by roughly 3,900 students, the number of students taking the AP exam has soared.
Additionally, neither social studies nor science curriculum standards have adequately addressed psychology as a discipline.
Task force members included experienced psychology educators at the secondary and university levels.
They facilitated a rigorous review process in order to produce a document that represents the best practices in the teaching of psychology as both a natural and social science. Rather, the National Standards provides a framework for teachers and others to use to craft introductory psychology courses for high school students. Teachers can use a variety of resources, including those available through the American Psychological Association’s website, to develop daily lesson plans that support the content and learning objectives in the National Standards.
Students should understand the major ideas found in psychology today and appreciate how psychologists try to understand the world, make new discoveries, and apply psychological knowledge to solve problems. Consistent with the use of the term standards in a secondary school setting, these standards are advisory.
However, it is difficult for even the best of teachers to present all of psychology in a single course for students who begin with virtually no formal knowledge of psychology. Second, the Standard Areas are unit topics that represent closely related theories and findings regarding more specific areas of knowledge and study.

A team of experienced high school teachers and psychological professionals will review these objectives on an ongoing basis, creating a vibrant and comprehensive database of suggested outcomes for measuring students’ knowledge of psychology. These suggestions are not considered APA policy but are provided by experienced teachers of psychology to assist teachers in planning their overall course content.
By infusing such content into the introductory psychology course, teachers present psychological science through a lens that is both comprehensive and representative of today’s diverse student population. The resources that accompany these standards also include a variety of publications and websites devoted to diversity issues. By presenting these types of findings to students, teachers can reinforce the idea that researchers should be careful about generalizing research findings beyond the populations studied.
Teachers should strive to use multiple textbooks, scholarly publications, and other instructional resources to plan lessons in each Standard Area.
The task force developed the initial set of standards in 1995, and the document went through seven drafts as APA boards, committees, divisions, and APA members and affiliates reviewed the standards and submitted comments for consideration. This is consistent with provisions of APA Association Rule 30-8.3, requiring cyclical review of approved standards and guidelines within periods not to exceed 10 years. The National Standards Working Group integrated changes into a revised draft of the standards in November of 2003. The National Standards Working Group and the National Standards Advisory Panel met jointly in September 2008. Standards from similar disciplinary organizations were examined relative to the National Standards.
Similarly, the content that is contained in the standards is consistent with the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct.
Guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists. Toward an inclusive psychology: Infusing the introductory psychology textbook with diversity content. Standards related to knowledge and skills expected of students should be high but attainable. Teachers should also incorporate diversity and individual differences issues throughout the course.
The other six domains cover broad content areas to be included in high school psychology curricula. However, literacy is also a cause for celebration on the day because there are nearly four billion literate people in the world.
Underneath the temple are the words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. For permission, contact APA, Rights and Permissions, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242.
Students may apply knowledge gained from an introductory psychology course to their daily lives. The first revision of these psychology standards was published in 2005, and a second revision process started in 2007.
Standards related to the knowledge and skills expected of students should be high but attainable.
Mindful of this curricular context and student audience, the National Standards is an outline of the basic core essentials of psychological science and practice to be taught in the introductory psychology course and is intended to be relevant to the lives of high school students. Thus, the National Standards Working Group charged with revising the National Standards recommends that teachers of high school psychology adopt the following overarching themes listed in the sidebar as the foundation for developing their courses. Third, the Content Standards are specific topics teachers can use as starting points to build lessons.
The working group believes this change will allow for greater flexibility in usage of the Performance Indicators and wider input in developing these objectives. The APA and the APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) have a variety of teacher resources, including unit lesson plans and presentation slides.
APA boards, committees, divisions, and state, provincial, and territorial psychological associations were then given an opportunity to review and provide comments on the standards. In 2009, the National Standards Working Group provided a revised draft of the document to APA boards, committees, divisions, and state, provincial, and territorial psychological associations for feedback.
Finally, the Handbook on Enhancing Undergraduate Education, APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major, and Undergraduate Education in Psychology: A Blueprint for the Future of the Discipline offered guidance regarding curricula for the undergraduate major.
The policy document that follows represents a vision of what students should know and be able to do after completing the high school psychology course. Other students have completed the AP class without taking the national exam, studied International Baccalaureate (IB) psychology, or taken regular high school psychology classes not for college credit. The current 2011 version of the standards reflects the evolving body of psychological knowledge.
This document represents a vision of what students should know and be able to do after completing the high school psychology course. Within each Content Standard, students should receive instruction that would enable them to meet specific Performance Standards. Using these materials can assist teachers in presenting the most relevant, developmentally appropriate, and current information to students each day.
The APA Board of Directors approved the final version in fall 1998, followed by the APA Council of Representatives’ approval in August 1999.
A new National Standards Working Group convened in January 2005 and incorporated the additional suggestions. In the fall of 2009, the National Standards Working Group reviewed all submitted feedback and responded to each comment.
The psychology curricula standards are designed to address the introductory course in psychology, hence these publications on undergraduate psychology education provided support for the domains of introductory psychology. There is increasing recognition of the importance of health improvement through sports and physical education. In the spring of 2011, there were more than 16,000 IB Psychology exams taken worldwide, with nearly 10,000 exams taken in the United States. The National Standards is not presented as a taxonomy, nor is it organized to suggest that the course content be taught in a particular sequence. The APA Council of Representatives approved the revised National Standards as APA policy in August 2005. A 90-day public comment period was held in early 2010, and the National Standards Working Group met in July 2010 to review all submitted comments and make additional changes to the draft document as appropriate. Taking the opportunity of the extra year in university as a result of the education reform, we broaden the horizon of students within and beyond their major disciplines. Rather, the aim of this design is to help teachers see how the course content can be conceptualized on multiple levels, allowing teachers to keep the overarching themes in mind while they teach more specific content each day. Upon the recommendation of BEA, the National Standards Working Group invited APA governance groups to review the draft of the National Standards in the fall of 2010. New courses in health, sports administration and marketing, advanced professional skills, internship, and research experience are provided.
In February 2011, the National Standards Working Group provided the revised National Standards to the Office of General Counsel for a final legal review. Students take 147 credits (including 104 units in the Major Programme) within 5 years in order to graduate. Upon the recommendation of BEA, APA governance groups received an action item recommending that the Council of Representatives approve the National Standards as association policy.
The programme trains students as generalists in sports and physical education, or as specialist in the areas of exercise physiology, sports biomechanics, sports psychology, sports management, physical education curriculum, sports pedagogy, health and fitness, and test and measurement.
Following approval of the revised National Standards by the APA Board of Directors in June 2011, the APA Council approved the second revision of the National Standards in August 2011. Students may choose any of the above specialized topics as their graduation research project.

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