Wednesday, June 11, 2014

March Conference Wrap Up

It's been almost three months since our first VaTOPSS conference so I'm a little delayed with the promised recap. In addition to finishing up the school year, I just returned from the AP Reading for AP Psychology in Kansas City last week. If you're an AP teacher I highly recommend that you apply to become a reader. It is hard work and a large commitment of time, but the benefits certainly outweigh the difficulty.

Of course, our initial conference date of March 3 was preempted due to snow. We still had about a dozen teachers and our featured presenters able to attend the rescheduled date on March 24.

After introductions in the morning, our first session was led by Dr. James Freeman. Dr. Freeman spoke about his involvement with TOPSS and the College Board. He shared some of the resources available through these organizations for both new and experienced teachers of Psychology. I knew that Dr. Freeman had played a role in strengthening instruction in high school Psychology courses, but only last week in Kansas City did I realize that "he's kind of a big deal."

In Kansas, there was a presentation by Randall Ernst in which he detailed the history of AP Psychology beginning in the early 1990's. Dr. Freeman was there from the very beginning. Sitting through the presentation I felt a bit proud that he was able to also be a part of the first VaTOPSS.

Our session after lunch started with Dr. Fred Smyth. Dr. Smyth's presentation focused on bias and implicit associations. While his presentation focused on this topic, we also had an opportunity to discuss other topics such as application of scientific method in the classroom and what expectations college professors of psychology have of students entering their classes. In addition to his work with Project Implicit, Dr. Smyth teaches the Psychology 101 course at the University of Virginia.

We finished the day with a more informal sharing of ideas and lessons that have worked in our own classrooms. Topics on perception, nervous system, mental health, and others were shared by classroom teachers. I've already incorporated one of the activities into my classroom this year.

VaTOPSS has received a second year of funding through the American Psychological Foundation. I'm hoping to schedule our second conference in late October/early November this year. Currently, Dan Willingham has agreed to present to our group. If you're not familiar with him, I suggest you check out his website. He is a cognitive psychologist who has focused much of his work on student learning in the educational environment.

I'll update soon when a date is confirmed. In the meantime, start thinking about what you'd like to share at the VaTOPSS fall conference 2014, and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or suggestions.

Here are a few other opportunities that you might be interested in coming up:

APA Pre-Convention Workshop for Teachers of Introductory Psychology : June 6 in D.C.

APA Annual Convention: June 8-10. Special rate of $95 for TOPSS members with several special sessions of TOPSS invited speakers.

NCSS National Convention November 21-23 in Boston. Thanks to the NCSS Psychology Community there are numerous Psychology related sessions to attend.

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 Conference Feedback

If you were able to attend the 2014 Spring Conference, please take a minute to complete the evaluation found at the link below:

2014 VaTOPSS Spring Conference Evaluation

Friday, March 21, 2014

Final Details for March 24

The rescheduled VaTOPSS Conference is on for this Monday. All details from the original conference are the same except for a slightly altered agenda for the day. Those details are available in this previous post. I've copied the revised agenda below. I look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Meet and Greet
Steven Turner, Albemarle HS
Resources and Suggestions for Teaching Introductory Psychology
Dr. James Freeman, Department of Psychology-UVa

catered by Sticks Kebab Shop
Teaching about Implicit Bias:
Science and Math Gender Stereotyping as Case-Study
Dr. Fred Smyth,
Department of Psychology-UVa

Ten-Minute Takeaways
Sam Oh- Loudon Valley
Lisa Kopacz- Frank W. Cox
John Montez
Matthew Martin- Virtual VA
Joe Haberman

Table Talk
Door Prizes
Evaluation and Next Steps
Steven Turner

Thursday, March 6, 2014

VaTOPSS Spring Conference Rescheduled for March 24

The details have been confirmed and we are going to hold the 2014 Spring Conference on Monday, March 24. Details from the original date are largely the same. The conference will be at Monticello High School in Charlottesville, VA and run from 10:30 am until around 5:00 pm.

If you were not able to register for March 3, but the new date works out for you, registration is open until Monday, March 17. Scroll through previous posts for more information on the conference, and check out the Spring conference tab above for specific conference details.

2014 Spring Conference Registration

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Spring Conference Postponed

Perhaps we were a bit premature in calling this the "spring" conference. It seems that mother nature has called us on this misnomer by reminding us that spring is still over two weeks away. Because of unsafe travel and school closings due to winter weather, we must postpone our spring conference to... well, Spring.

If all goes according to plan, we will reschedule the conference for Monday, March 24. I'm hoping to keep all of the details as similar to the original conference as possible.  All registered attendees will receive an e-mail update later in the week and a new registration window will open for others who may be able to attend with the new date.

As always, check the blog for updates, and use the "subscribe by e-mail" widget in the right sidebar to receive updates whenever the blog is updated.

Thank you for your patience and I'm sorry for the inconvenience.