Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (1991). Harry Kirke Wolfe: Pioneer in psychology. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. Benjamin, L. T.T Jr. (1993).

A history of psychology in letters. New York: McGraw-Hill. Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (Ed.). (1997a). History of psychologyOriginal sources and contemporary research (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (1997b). Organized industrial psychology before Division 14: The ACP and the AAAP (1930-1945). Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 459-466. Benjamin, L. T,, Jr. (1997c). The origin of psychological species: A history of the beginnings of the divisions of the American Psychological Association. American Psychologist, 52, 725-732. Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (2000). Hugo Miinsterberg: Portrait of an applied psychologist. In G. A. Kimble & M. Weriheimer (Eds.), Portraits of pioneers in psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 113-129). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Benjamin, L. T., Jr., & Bertelson, A. D. (1975). The early Nebraska psychology laboratory, 1889-1930: Nursery for presidents of the American Psychological Association. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 11, 142-148. Benjamin, L. T., Jr., Cavell, T. A., & Shallenberger, W. R. (1984). Slaying with initial answers on objective tests: Is it a myth? Teaching of Psychology, II, 133-141. Benjamin, L. T., Jr., & Dixon, D. N. (1996). Dream analysis by mail: An American woman seeks Freud's advice. American Psychologist, 5!, 461-468. Benjamin, L. T., Jr., Durkin, M , Link, M., Vestal, M., & Acord, J. (1992). Wundt's American doctoral students. American Psychologist, 47, 123-131. Benjamin, L. T., Jr., Hopkins, J. R., & Nation, J. R. (1994). Psychology (3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Benjamin, L. T., Jr., & Lowman, K. D. (Eds.). (1981). Activities handbook for the teaching of psychology (Vol. 1). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Benjamin, L. T., Jr., & Nielsen-Gammon, E. (1999). B. F. Skinner and psychotechnology: The case of the heir condiiioner. Review of Genera! Psychology, 3, 155-167. November 2001 • American Psychologist

Benjamin, L. T., Jr.., Rogers, A., & Rosenbaum, A. (1991). Coca-Cola, caffeine, and mental deficiency: Harry Hollingworth and the Chattanooga trial of 1911. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 27, 42-55. Benjamin, L. T., Jr., & Shields, S. A. (1990). Lela Stetter Hollingworth. In A. N. O'Connell & N. F. Russo (Eds.), Women in psychology (pp. 173-183). New York: Greenwood Press. Hebl, M. R., Brewer, C. L, & Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (2000). The handbook for teaching introductory psychology (Vol. 2). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

hstory of me Psychology American High Schools
Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. Texas A&M University

Psychology has been a part of the high school curriculum for the past 170 years in a variety of forms, in classes labeled mental and moral philosophy, mental hygiene, personal adjustment, child development, human relations, and psychology. This abbreviated and selective account traces that history, including the considerable role played by the American Psychological Association. This history focuses on the social and educational contexts that led to changes in the nature of high school psychology classes and concludes with comments about the value of precollege psychology classes. In the beginning of the 21st century, it is still possible to encounter psychologists who express surprise on learning that psychology is taught in high schools. One wonders where these people have been. How can they be unaware of the fact that psychology is perhaps the most popular elective course in high schools today, an assertion supported by reports of an annual enrollment of between 800,000 and I million students? Have they not heard of the

Editor's Note Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr., received the Award for Distinguished Career Contributions to Education and Training. Award winners are invited to deliver an award address at APA 's annual convention. This award address was delivered at the 109th annual meeting, held August 24-28, 2001, in San Francisco. Articles based on award addresses are not peer reviewed, as they are the expression of the winners' reflections on the occasion of receiving an award.


success of Advanced Placement (AP) courses in psychology and the fact that the AP Psychology Exam, which has been in existence only since 1992, has been one of the most successful AP subjects of all time? In May of this year, approximately 43,500 high school students took this exam. Although the AP Psychology Exam is only a decade old, the popularity of psychology in the high school has a much longer history. High school psychology is part of the pervasiveness of psychology in American culture, a love affair that began early in the 19th century with such pseudopsychologies as phrenology and physiognomy. Public interest in psychology further escalated in the 1920s, evidenced in part by the founding in that decade of the first popular psychology magazines, of which there were at least four. Popularity expanded again in the 1960s and has continued today such that psychology extends into virtually every aspect of life including dating, marriage, child rearing, sexuality, dieting, exercise, addictions, school violence, racism, career advancement, and so forth. People's voyeuristic fascination with behavior apparently knows no bounds. Witness the success of such "reality" television as the Jerry Springer Show and the various survivor programs; the prevalence of psychological themes in books, magazines, movies, and plays; and the popularity of the pseudopsychologists of talk radio. So much has happened in the past decade—the advent of the AP Psychology Exam, the establishment of a national organization for high school psychology teachers (Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools, or TOPSS), and the approval of national standards for the teaching of high school psychology—that one might get the erroneous impression that high school psychology is largely a product of the late 20th century. Yet the roots for high school psychology are as deep as those for psychology as a college subject. This article describes the evolution of the high school psychology class by describing some of the contextual factors that have shaped the course. It concludes with a brief discussion of the value of psychology in precollege classes today. The history of high school psychology classes in America is a vast subject, one that cannot be covered adequately in this brief article. The database for this topic includes more than 200 published articles, the earliest dating to the 19th century; more than a score of books on the subject, not counting textbooks; 30 years of newsletters published by the American Psychological Association (APA); archival records of APA committees on high school psychology for more than 50 years; archival records for the National Education Association, including related state educational records on teacher certification; apd organizational histories of such groups as the College Board, Educational Testing Service, National Science Teachers Association, National Council on Social Studies, National Science Foundation,

and TOPSS. Thus, because of space limitations, this account must be both abbreviated and selective. Its selectivity focuses on the philosophical changes in the psychology course as influenced by changes in America over the past 170 years and on the role played by the APA. High School Psychology in the 19th Century Experimental psychology in America can be dated to the last two decades of the 19th century, a time that witnessed the founding of 40 psychology laboratories at universities, the publication of important books such as William James's Principles of Psychology (James, 1890), the founding of the APA, and the founding of several important journals, such as the American Journal of Psychology and the Psychological Review. Yet, before the arrival of the new experimental psychology, there was an American psychology being taught under the label mental philosophy. Such courses were based on a form of Scottish faculty psychology that emphasized the empirical study of the intellect, senses, emotions, and will. The mental philosophy course was often sequenced with a course in moral philosophy emphasizing ethics, virtue, conscience, moral training, and religion. Typically, these two courses were required for students in their final year of college. The courses were usually taught by college presidents, many of whom came from backgrounds involving religious training, and the classes were often viewed as a final attempt at ensuring appropriate moral training of America's youth. Such courses also appeared in American high schools, at least by the 1830s if not earlier, although it is doubtful that they were widespread at that time. One of the most popular textbooks in this prescientific psychology was Thomas Upham's Elements of Mental Philosophy (Upham, 1831), which was used in college courses for more than 40 years. In 1840, Upham condensed his two-volume work into a single volume, indicating in the introduction to the book that it was intended for high school students among others (Upham, 1840). At least one other psychology textbook for high school students appeared in 1840. Its author was Elizabeth Ricord, principal of the Geneva Female Seminary in New York, and her book was entitled Elements of the Philosophy of Mind, Applied to the Developement of Thought and Feeling (Ricord, 1840; see Scarborough, 1992, for a discussion of Ricord and her text). These are two of perhaps a dozen American textbooks on mental and moral philosophy published in the 19th century whose authors indicated that the books were for use in high school courses (Loutitt, 1956). Such designations began to appear in the titles of the books, for example, Andrew Peabody's (1873) A Manual of Moral Philosophy Designed for Colleges and High Schools, Daniel Putnam's (1889) Elementary Psychology, or the First Principles of Mental and Moral Science for High, Normal, and Other Secondary Schools and for Private Reading, and November 2001 • American Psychologist


J. P. Gordy's (1890) Lessons in Psychology Designed Especially for Private Students, and as a Text Book in Secondary Schools. As experimental psychology increased in prominence, a few of these authors revised their textbooks to include what Scripture (1897) had called the "new psychology." For example, Daniel Putnam published a new edition of his book for high school students in 1901, a revision that included references to the writings of E. W. Scripture, G. Stanley Hall, William James, George Trumbull Ladd, and James Mark Baldwin. The book even included a long list of suggested experiments and descriptions of the apparatus needed to conduct them, advising readers that many comparatively simple experiments, requiring little or no apparatus . . . can be performed by teachers and students in the ordinary school. Such experiments add interest to the study of psychology, serve to illustrate the laws and conditions of mental action, and in some cases render instruction and explanations clearer and more impressive. (Putnam, 1901, p. 283) There is some evidence that the number of high schools offering courses in psychology increased, perhaps dramatically, in the final two decades of the 19th century, although that number was probably not very large. Earlier in the century, psychology was valued in the high schools for its role in moral training. Late in the century, psychology advocates touted its relationship to teaching and learning, that is, its pedagogical value for students and teachers. For some high school students preparing to be school teachers, the psychology course was part of their professional training at the high school level. Yet, for most high schools, psychology was considered a college subject only. Experimental psychology had emerged from philosophy and was seen as part of that field, and philosophy was largely regarded as a college subject. The late 19th century increase also coincided with the arrival of the new science of psychology in American colleges and universities and with a growing emphasis on science in American classrooms brought on by an embracing of the technological advances associated with industrialization. Indeed, most of the 19th century psychology textbooks for high schools were published in the last two decades of that century, and by 1900, they were clearly on their way to replacing mental philosophy with the results of laboratory psychology. A senior class examination in 1894 from a psychology class at Thayer Academy (near Boston, Massachusetts) illustrates coverage of the new psychology. Students were asked to "Give a general account of the nervous system—cerebrospinal—in man, and describe a nerve fibre and ganglionic centre" and to "Define instinct and . . . show how it may be modified by intelligence" (Roback, 1952, p. 45). November 2001 • American Psychologist

In the midst of ideas for educational reform, philosopher John Dewey offered psychological reasons for why it was important to teach psychology to high school students. Speaking to the Michigan Schoolmasters' Club in 1886, Dewey acknowledged that the high school curriculum was filled with subjects whose claims to necessity were long established. He asked, was there any need to add psychology to an already overburdened course of study? Drawing on his knowledge of adolescence, he answered: I should say that this study is necessary to meet a demand which arises in the child's nature about this time... . one knows that the average boy and girl undergo a mental as well as a physical revolution between the ages of say, 14 to 17 years. There comes to be at this time something like self-consciousness. .. . The child up to this time lives a natural life, a naive, objective one. With adolescence begins his subjective existence; the life which recognizes its own unique significance for itself, and begins dwelling upon its personal relations, intellectual and moral, and experimenting with them to get them adjusted... . what are we to do with this change in the child's nature? Shall we recognize it in any systematic way, or leave it to take care of itself.... it does seem possible that directing the inquiries of the child at this time, instead of allowing them to drift, may be an immediate intellectual help as well as save much waste of mental and even moral force... . psychology [is] needed to meet the dawning self-consciousness of the student. (Dewey, 1886, pp. 5-7) Dewey's rationale for psychology in the high schools was not widely embraced at the time of his comments. With growing concerns about mental hygiene in the 20th century, however, psychology increasingly came to be viewed as important for high school student development. Mental Hygiene and High School Psychology As part of the broad social reforms sweeping America, schools underwent considerable changes in the first several decades of the 20th century. Changes in child labor laws, new waves of immigration, and compulsory attendance laws put more children in the classrooms. Immigration, industrialization, and urbanization led to a host of adjustment difficulties for children. The Great Depression of the 1930s only compounded those problems. As a result, school psychological services emerged, juvenile courts were established, vocational guidance was mandated in the schools after 1917, and child guidance clinics were founded, all as part of a program for saving children (see Fagan, 1992; Levine & Levine, 1992). In that context, it is no surprise that psychology's value rose. With greater awareness of the mental, emotional, and behavioral problems of children, schools began to take a more active role in constructing programs and classes intended to prepare students psychologically for the rigors of life. There are no data on the distribution and frequency of high school psychology classes in the United States before 953

the 1920s. The earliest known survey, based on a nationwide sample in 1928, reported that of the high schools responding, 9% offered a psychology course (Lederman, 1933-1934). There is evidence that this number grew in the next decade and that the majority of classes had a mental hygiene emphasis. One indicator of that growth is the increase in published articles on high school psychology. Only 2 articles could be found on the subject during the 1920s, but 23 were located from the 1930s, and 15 of those dealt wholly or in part with the mental hygiene emphases of psychology classes. Geisel (1938), a high school principal in Michigan, wrote that high schools had three functions. One was to impart knowledge, a second was to teach skills and techniques, and the third was to aid personal adjustment. He argued that ideally, all three functions would be a part of each course; certainly, that could be true of psychology classes. Whereas Geisel supported the teaching of psychology in high schools, he felt that too much of the subject matter in such courses was irrelevant to the psychological needs of students. So, he and others (see Myers, 1933) argued for separate courses in mental hygiene, which he defined as "the study of the mind and mental habits for the purpose of developing and maintaining mental health best suited to individual comfort in life" (Geisel, 1938, p. 187). Other educators shared similar views but called for redesigning high school psychology courses to make them more responsive to student needs. When students in North Dakota high school psychology classes were surveyed about what was most valuable in psychology, they listed self-understanding, getting along with others, and personality development and adjustment (Burgum, 1940). Burgum encouraged teachers of high school psychology classes to focus on those outcomes. Such goals became common in high school psychology classes of the 1930s and 1940s (see Geisel, 1943; Swenson, 1935; Turney & Collins, 1940). APA Committee to Study High School Psychology It appears that the APA's first involvement with high school psychology came in 1935. In that year, the APA Council of Directors (comparable to the Board of Directors today) established the Committee to Study Problems Connected With the Teaching of Psychology in High Schools and Junior Colleges. The committee consisted of two psychologists: Goodwin Watson (chair) and Calvin P. Stone (Paterson, 1935). Exactly what the problems were is unknown because no charge for the committee could be found. It might be presumed that in 1935, APA, an organization that existed solely to advance the science of psychology, was disturbed on learning that high school psychology classes were focusing on mental hygiene, that is, teaching students about personal adjustment, rather than focusing on the content of experimental psychology. Yet 954

the report of the committee is not consistent with such reasoning. The APA committee submitted its first report in August 1936, and it was published later that year in the Psychological Bulletin (Stone & Watson, 1936). In preparing their report, Stone and Watson contacted superintendents of education in 15 states. They reviewed the sparse published literature on high school psychology and looked at the extant texts used in the high school courses. They examined issues of teacher training and certification and the place of psychology within the secondary school curriculum. Apparently, they did not collect any information on the content of the high school courses. The report concluded that the textbooks were inappropriate because they dealt too much with the content of psychological science and too little with "the life problems of adolescents" (Stone & Watson, 1936, p. 713). Indeed, the authors argued against the inclusion of a course entitled psychology in the high school even though such courses in name and content already existed. Instead, they called for courses in mental hygiene and the understanding of human behavior. Stone and Watson (1936) wrote that "nothing is more needed than the kind of psychology which will help pupils work out better relations with their parents, with the opposite sex, and with their own ideals and religious impulses" (p. 711). Thus their recommendation was consistent with the mental hygiene and personal adjustment emphases of the time. Watson and Stone asked that their committee be continued for another year so that they might conduct a more extensive survey of high schools, a recommendation that was approved by the APA Council of Directors (Paterson, 1936). The 1937 survey was sent to more than 1,000 school superintendents in communities with populations greater than 10,000, and the return rate was approximately 10%. Psychology courses were reported in 12% of the schools, whereas another 37% of the superintendents said that such courses should be added to the curriculum. The existing psychology courses were largely focused on mental hygiene and personal adjustment, and most of these were taught by school counselors. The chief concern of the committee was the qualifications of those individuals teaching psychology in the high schools. They argued that "it should be a matter of concern to this Association [APA] that among the sixty-two persons named in these letters as responsible for guidance or psychology teaching, not one was a member of the American Psychological Association" (Stone & Watson, 1937, pp. 672-673). To have qualified for membership (as associate members) in APA at that time, those teachers would have had to have completed at least one year of graduate work in psychology, so it is not surprising that none were members of APA. The recommendations of the committee called for psychologists to develop teaching materials for use in the high schools and November 2001 • American Psychologist

to work with high school teachers in using and evaluating those materials. Furthermore, in an act of arrogance, and perhaps ignorance, the committee asked that a letter be sent to all school superintendents urging that membership in APA "be a required qualification for counselors or teachers whose main responsibility is psychological guidance or the teaching of psychology or mental hygiene" (Stone & Watson, 1937, p. 673). The Stone and Watson committee continued for another year, adding Arthur Gates as a member, and produced one additional report, focusing on the nature of psychology courses at teachers colleges and the preparation of students there (Gates, Stone, & Watson, 1938). Apparently satisfied that high school psychology teachers had been given the guidance that they needed to improve their courses, APA dismissed its committee with thanks at its 1938 meeting. It would be another 15 years before APA became involved in the subject again. High School Psychology and World War II Published articles on high school psychology declined slightly in the 1940s, perhaps as America focused its attention on the war in Europe and the Pacific. Yet, at the university level, one of the aftermaths of the war was a great increase in interest in the field of psychology that resulted in many returning veterans using their GI Bill benefits to pursue graduate study in psychology, particularly in the growing fields of clinical and counseling psychology (Baker & Benjamin, 2000). At the end of the first world war, with millions dead and millions more disabled forever, intellectuals had predicted that it was the war to end all wars, that its horrors had been so awful that humankind had finally learned that future conflicts must be settled in more civilized ways. Yet, 30 years later, the world was once again engaged in killing and destruction on an even greater scale. The war kindled interest in psychology because of the science's potential for human understanding. Individuals reasoned that surely if humans knew more about themselves, then such wars might be avoided. Such rhetoric began to appear in the literature on high school psychology during this time. Jay Ransom, a high school teacher from California, argued in 1945 for psychology classes in the high schools as a mechanism for improving critical thinking, thus avoiding fascist obedience. He wrote: The lay individual, untrained in the recognition of stereotyped psychological saws; e.g., inflammatory orations, radio repetition of catch phraseology, insinuations of politicians and war
mongers—ad nauseum [sic], becomes, because of his ignorance, the helpless pawn of a Hitler or Mussolini. It would seem that democracy would recognize the value of psychological knowledge in the layman to enable him to keep his thinking head on his shoulders. (Ransom, 1945, p. 18)

Other authors emphasized, once again, the importance of human understanding, including self-understanding. Kelley (1949) condemned American high schools for failing to teach youth to understand others. "Human relations," he wrote "are surely our most important study" (p. 354), yet he noted that the high school curriculum virtually ignored the topic. Kelley and others (see Billig, 1943; Shannon, 1943) argued that human understanding began with self-knowledge and called for psychology courses that would offer such to students at a time when they most needed it. Victor Smith (1946), a school teacher in Minnesota, offered a similar view. He wrote that "if there is any hope of realizing the goal of 'Know thyself,' psychology is the best means of attaining this end" (p. 4). The theme of self-understanding became the dominant rationale for high school psychology classes in the 1950s. After the National Defense Education Act of 1958 was passed, it greatly increased the number of counselors in high schools in the 1960s and consequently expanded the number of psychology classes. These teachers, principally trained in educational and counseling psychology, were quite comfortable with teaching adjustment classes. That the frequency of psychology classes grew in the 1960s is evidenced by several surveys. Psychology classes were taught in 20% of those high schools with enrollments greater than 100 students (Noland, 1966) and in 49 of 50 states (Thornton & Colver, 1967). Increasing popularity is also evidenced by the growth of publications on high school psychology between the 1940s and 1970s: 17 in the 1940s, 33 in the 1950s, 55 in the 1960s, 58 in the 1970s. T. L. Engle, a high school teacher of psychology and mathematics in Indiana and Illinois and later a psychology professor at Indiana University at Fort Wayne, merits special mention. He was the author of more than 25 of those articles and of a popular high school psychology textbook (Engle, 1950). For many years, Engle was the principal voice within APA promoting awareness of psychology in secondary schools and advocating for those teachers and students (see, e.g., Engle, 1952, 1967). APA's New Committee on High School Psychology After the dismissal of its short-lived high school psychology committee in 1938, APA returned to the subject in the early 1950s. There is some evidence in the unpublished papers of the APA Archives that an APA committee entitled the Committee on the Teaching of Psychology in High Schools existed at least by 1953. In 1954, it is mentioned in a published report of association business (Sanford, 1954). However, it does not show up in any published listing of APA committees until 1957 ("Officers, Boards, Committees," 1957). In that year, a three-person committee entitled the Committee on Communication With High School Teachers was listed as one of the committees of APA's Education and Training Board. In 1962, the corn955

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mittee's name was changed to the Committee on Psychology in Secondary Schools. The committee was nearly 20 years old before a high school psychology teacher was invited to be a member in the 1970s. The committee existed until 1989, when it was abolished in the restructuring of APA's Board of Educational Affairs. The first report of the committee was distributed to the Education and Training Board in May 1954 and represented a survey of the existing literature regarding the extent to which high schools offer instruction in psychology; the purposes for which instruction in psychology is offered; the methods and teaching materials used; the qualifications of teachers of psychology in the high schools; and, the attitudes toward the teaching of psychology in the high schools. (Bunch, 1954, p.l) Among the findings of the committee was that psychology was taught under many labels in high school, including such course titles as "personal adjustment," "child development," and "human relations"; that psychology was considered part of the social studies curriculum and was rarely part of the science offerings; that most psychology teachers were trained in education and social sciences other than psychology; that popular magazine articles were used more in teaching than scientific journal articles; and that the principal purpose for offering such courses was "to help students understand themselves and their personal problems; to develop understanding of social problems and increase ability to live harmoniously with others; [and lastly] to provide instruction in elementary principles of psychology" (Committee on the Teaching, 1955, p. 2). Although the issues varied across committees in the 1950s and 1960s, APA members seemed most concerned about ensuring that high school psychology teachers were well educated in psychology. Toward that end, APA sent letters to state education boards urging certification of psychology teachers at a time when most psychology teachers were broadly certified in social studies but could not get separate certifications in psychology because states did not offer them. APA also was concerned about the text materials and other reading materials for high school psychology classes. In the 1950s and 1960s, the high school committees sought to generate interest among members in writing textbooks for that market, worked with authors of existing high school textbooks to increase the scientific focus of their books, proposed a plan for developing a series of learning modules for high school courses, and considered, but rejected, an APA newsletter for high school teachers. Although the committees typically met twice each year and although they collected data on the high school courses by means of a series of surveys, they had virtually no impact on the nature of high school psychology, nor did they provide much to that community in the way of resources for

teaching or learning. This situation would change in the 1970s. APA's Clearinghouse on Precollege Psychology and Other Endeavors Within APA in the 1960s, the voice for high school psychology had historically resided with Division 2, APA's Division on the Teaching of Psychology. The high school committee membership had been dominated for years by Division 2 members. Although ineffective in mobilizing APA to get involved with high school psychology, Division 2 did make some productive overtures to secondary school teachers, for example, welcoming them as affiliates of the division as early as 1962, arranging workshops for them in the 1960s, and sending out lists of movies and publications appropriate for high school psychology classes (Kasschau & Wertheimer, 1974). The 1960s could be said to be psychology's decade. The social upheaval in America surrounding issues such as civil rights, opposition to America's involvement in the war in Vietnam, conflicting attitudes toward drugs such as marijuana, and unrest on college campuses, partly due to questions about traditional curricula and student partnerships in some decision making, created a time of questioning and self-reflection that made psychology seem especially relevant. The prevalence of high school psychology courses increased during this time, accompanied by a growing realization within the membership of APA that psychologists needed to be involved with this crucial educational venue. A watershed event in APA's recognition of the importance of high school psychology was the establishment in 1970 of the Clearinghouse for Precollege Psychology within the Office of Educational Affairs at APA. The clearinghouse was headed by Margo Johnson, an employee of the APA Central Office. In September of 1970, she edited the first issue of an APA newsletter for high school psychology teachers entitled Periodically. It was mailed to an estimated 5,600 teachers. The second issue did not appear until January 1971. After that, it was published nine times a year, during the months of the typical school year. Subscriptions were free. The newsletter focused on information about publications, workshops, and audiovisual materials appropriate for the high school classroom but eventually came to add teaching ideas, particularly ideas for demonstrations and experiments that could be done without expensive apparatus. Those teaching ideas were contributed by both college and high school teachers. In the past 30 years, the newsletter has gone through several name changes and is still published today as The Psychology Teacher Network, with a scope broadened to include teaching at the undergraduate level as well. The clearinghouse, guided by APA's Committee on Psychology in Secondary Schools, began to coordinate the publication and distribution of several bibliographies and articles on November 2001 • American Psychologist


the teaching of psychology in the high school. By the mid1970s, the mailing list for high school teachers had reached more than 7,000. Other important initiatives were begun in the 1970s. APA renewed its interest in providing teaching materials for high school classes. What resulted was the Human Behavior Curriculum Project, a plan for the development of 30 psychology topical modules for students, each available with a teacher's manual. Funding for the project was secured from the National Science Foundation, and John Bare of Carleton College was hired in 1974 to oversee the development of the modules. The project proved to be a nightmare for authors, chief editor, and APA staff when manuscripts became bogged down in the multiple reviews and disparate comments of various APA boards and committees. Many of the modules were abandoned. Finally, in 1981, largely through the efforts of Kathleen Lowman in the APA Central Office, 8 of the modules were published by Teachers College Press. The greatly reduced set of modules lacked some of the key topics in psychology and never proved popular with high school psychology teachers. Other ventures, some initiated by APA, others outside of APA, proved more successful. When the National Science Foundation made funds available in 1970 to support summer workshops for high school science teachers, psychologists joined the list of applicants. Since then, there have been many psychologists who have secured funding for month-long summer institutes. These institutes have offered retraining and continuing education opportunities for hundreds of high school teachers, have benefited tens of thousands of students, have forged numerous partnerships between teachers at the high school and college levels, and, because of the bidirectional communication that is characteristic of these workshops, have benefited teaching at both the high school and college levels. With the growing popularity of psychology courses in high schools in the 1970s, Adelphi University began publication of a new journal, High School Behavioral Science, in 1975. Two years later, another New York university, Syracuse, introduced a college-level psychology course into 17 high schools through its Project Advance. In that same year, APA reported 12,000 subscribers to its high school psychology newsletter and estimated that approximately 9,000 of those subscribers taught psychology at the high school level. In 1979, a psychology special interest group (Psyc-SIG) was formed among high schools teachers in the National Council for Social Studies. Advanced Placement and Beyond In the early 1970s, APA approached the College Board about adding psychology to the list of subjects in its AP program, which encouraged the development of collegelevel courses in high schools and administered national November 2001 • American Psychologist

examinations that allowed high school students to earn college credits. The program had begun in 1954 and, by 1970, included exams in more than a dozen subjects. Getting psychology admitted to the exclusive club of AP subjects proved to be more difficult than perhaps anyone imagined. The College Board repeatedly rejected psychology, arguing that high school psychology courses were largely personal adjustment courses and did not resemble the more scientifically oriented courses typical in colleges and universities. There was evidence to suggest that such a characterization was accurate (Dambrot & Popplestone, 1975; Federici & Schuerger, 1976; see also Griggs, Jackson, & Meyer, 1989). The situation, however, seemed a catch-22; without the incentive of an AP psychology exam, few high school teachers would be motivated to offer a college-equivalent course. After nearly 20 years of lobbying by APA, psychologists, and high school teachers of psychology, the College Board approved the addition of psychology in 1988. A committee of college and high school psychology teachers was appointed to develop the exam, which was first administered in May 1992, in the centennial year of the APA. Although there were many people involved in making the AP Psychology Exam a reality, Sheila Ager of the Educational Testing Service arguably deserves much credit. In terms of rate of growth, the AP Psychology Exam has proven to be one of the two most successful exams in the history of the AP program. The promise of AP psychology focused attention anew on the importance of precollege psychology as part of the educational spectrum in which APA and psychologists should be involved. In addition to the first AP Psychology Exam, 1992 produced another critically important event for high school psychology and particularly for high school psychology teachers. It marked the founding of a new national organization for high school psychology teachers: TOPSS. TOPSS was founded "to advocate on behalf of high school teachers within APA, to give greater input to the development of programs and materials for high school psychology, and to provide a visible, national voice for teachers of psychology" ("APA High School," 1992, p. 1). High school psychology teachers had belonged to APA since the early 1970s as part of the High School Teacher Affiliate program. Yet, except for the few teachers who served on APA's high school committee (typically, three each year), teachers had no real voice in what APA was doing in the realm of high school psychology. With TOPSS, that would change dramatically. Although there were perhaps a dozen people involved with the founding of TOPSS, including many talented high school teachers, it was Cynthia Baum, then director of APA's Office of Educational Affairs, whose contributions were arguably most critical. Not only did she provide strong administrative support to push the idea of the organization through the APA governance but, of greatest importance, she encour-


aged the teachers to design an organizational structure that would give them control over meetings and agenda. In her vision, high school teachers were to run the organization, not APA, not college teachers. In its first 10 years, TOPSS has been enormously successful, producing unit teaching plans for teachers, sponsoring national essay contests for high school psychology students, offering workshops for teachers, sponsoring programs at the annual meetings of APA, and involving high school teachers in the broader educational programs of APA, for example, through participation in the recent Psychology Partnerships Project that is building linkages across educational levels in psychology. TOPSS was also the prime architect of the recent APA-approved national standards for the teaching of high school psychology (Brewer, 1999). In its very brief existence thus far, TOPSS has perhaps done more for high school psychology teachers and students than any other entity. Conclusion Psychology continues to be a popular high school class in the 21st century. Whereas AP psychology courses have received much attention in the past decade, they do not define psychology at the secondary level. The majority of high school students who enroll in psychology still find themselves in courses that are more heavily weighted toward self-discovery and adjustment than are their college counterparts. That would suggest that John Dewey's 1886 rationale for why psychology is important to adolescents still is valid. Offering students help in social, behavioral, and emotional matters is clearly important, and psychology courses can do that. The literature on the psychology of adolescence is a rich one that can offer important insights to students at a time when such knowledge of self can be critically important for a more positive development. In addition to this, however, psychology can offer even more. As the principal science of cognition, psychology holds great promise. Consider the second of Dewey's reasons for why high school psychology classes should exist. He wrote: perhaps the chief end of the study of psychology [is] the cultivation of openness and flexibility of mind. If I were asked what is the chief intellectual defect found in pupils, I should answer, judging from my own experience, lack of flexibility,
lack of ability to turn the mind towards new ideas, or look at old ones in new lights... . The teacher's function must be largely one of awakening, of stimulation. The mind of the average pupil will reject this awakening if it can, and will ask anything rather than to be led out of the fields of authority into intellectual regions where it is itself responsible for results. But the test of teaching will after all be the degree in which the mind is awakened and is given ability to act for itself. (Dewey, 1886, pp. 12-14)

One hundred and fifteen years later, many college and high school teachers would likely agree with Dewey's assessment, lamenting students' inability to think for themselves or to think critically. The recent educational literature is filled with articles and books on the need to improve students' thinking skills. It is in that all-important arena that psychology can play a crucial role in developing secondary school teaching strategies that foster independent and critical thinking. Dewey (1886) has written that learning to think for oneself is "the securing of intellectual freedom" (p. 15). Such learning ought to be the goal of psychology courses at any level. It certainly should be paramount in the high school psychology class. Yet the impact on learning must go beyond that course. If the science and application of psychology have anything to offer to cognitive development, it is time to contribute broadly across the secondary school curriculum. Author's Note / express appreciation to Lisa Inman for library research in support of this address and to David Baker, Charles Blair-Broeker, Samuel Cameron, Randy Ernst, Nancy Grayson, and Michelle Hebl for their comments on earlier versions of this address. Correspondence concerning this address should be sent to Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr., Department of Psychology-4235, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4235. Electronic mail may be sent to References APA high school teacher organization being formed. (1992, July/August). Psychology Teacher Network, 2(4), 1,1, 11. Baker, D. B., & Benjamin, L. T., Jr. (2000). The affirmation of the scientist-practitioner: A look back at Boulder. American Psychologist, 55, 241-247. Billig, A. L. (1943). Psychology in the high school. Journal of Education, 126, 261-262. Brewer, C. L. (Ed.). (1999). National standards for the teaching of high school psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Bunch, M. E. (1954). Committee on the Teaching of Psychology in High Schools to Education and Training Board, May 7 and 8, 1954 [Report of the committee]. Available at the American Psychological Association Archives, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Burgum, L. S. (1940). The value of high-school psychology. School and Society, 52, 45-48. November 2001 • American Psychologist


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