Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Attention Michigan teachers

Hurray for Michigan teachers of psychology! The first meeting of the Michigan TOPSS group has been announced, and details are in the image above. Well done Michiganders! For more information, contact great friend of the THSP blog Mike McLane ( or Ed Chang ( (Note: the original date of October 29 has been changed to November 12.)

And for a bonus, I'm also posting a picture of Mr. McLane just for kicks. Hope your meeting is a great success!

--posted by Steve

Attention Michigan teachers

Hurray for Michigan teachers of psychology! The first meeting of the Michigan TOPSS group has been announced, and details are in the image above. Well done Michiganders! For more information, contact great friend of the THSP blog Mike McLane ( or Ed Chang ( (Note: the original date of October 29 has been changed to November 12.)

And for a bonus, I'm also posting a picture of Mr. McLane just for kicks. Hope your meeting is a great success!

--posted by Steve

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

17th annual Iowa Teachers of Psychology conference

(shared by Randy Renstrom) 

"The 17th annual Iowa Teachers of Psychology conference will be held Friday, November 4, 2016 at a new location – Simpson College in Indianola, IA.  ITOP welcomes psychology teachers from universities, four-year colleges, community colleges, and high schools.  All psychology instructors, researchers, and students are cordially invited to attend! 

This year’s invited speakers are:
·         Dr. Elise L. Amel, Professor of Psychology and Environmental Studies at the University of St. Thomas, who will speak on the intersection of psychology and environmentalism and sustainability
·         Dr. Sal Meyer, Professor of Psychology and Director of Faculty Development at Simpson College, who will address the use of mindsets to improve student responses to academic challenges
·         Dr. Brian Smith, Professor of Psychology at Graceland University, who will discuss improving student performance through value affirmations

For more information on registration ($35 for faculty, deadline Oct 24), location, speakers, and proposal submissions for teaching demonstrations and roundtable discussions, please visit or contact Dr. Randy Renstrom at

Please feel free to forward this email to any colleague or student that you think would be interested in attending!  We hope to see you at Simpson College for the ITOP conference on November 4!"

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Friday, September 23, 2016

Get Connected!

The number of TOPSS groups around the country is expanding! Many new groups are popping up or in the planning stages (Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, oh my!) These groups are filled with dedicated and involved educators who can help you as a new psychology teacher if you need it and can connect you to great organizations like TOPSS (Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools) and the NCSS Psychology Community. I first attended a TOPSS meeting in my area with a colleague, and I can confidently say that the meeting got me connected, got me involved, and changed my life. 

Some great upcoming opportunities: 

Jill Compher is looking to organize TTOP (Texas Teacher of Psychology) and has this message: 
Texas Teachers: Want to collaborate? I'm planning a Texas Regional Teaching Network for High School (TTOP) thanks in part to an APA grant and a pep talk from Mike Hamilton. The even will be held on a Saturday in the DFW area. Thanks for taking a few minutes to take my survey. (Found at this link.) Email questions to 

Another great opportunity to be connect if you are in the Northeast Wisconsin/Milwaukee/Chicago area is by attending the Excellence in Psychology Instruction Conference (EPIC) being held October 8th at UW-Green Bay. Details can be found here and for $30 you get: 







Image result for scott lilienfeld
The author, the myth, the legend....

---Posted by Amy Ramponi 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

St. Louis TOPSS Fall 2016 Workshop

FALL 2016 
STLTOPSS Workshop 
St. Louis Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools 

Partially funded by a generous grant from the APA High School Psychology Teacher Network Grant 

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 

Where: Education Plus – (formerly Cooperating School Districts) 

1460 Craig Rd St Louis, MO 63146 McDonnel Room 

 Bring your Own: Side Dish or Dessert and Best Practices to Share!

I will send a sign-up genius link in October

Sandwiches and Mostaccioli from Psghetti’s 

Share your teaching techniques with your peers 

Develop collegial relationships with fellow psychology teachers. 

Guest Speaker- Anne Kraus 
Dissecting the AP Exam 
Sharing of Best Practices 
Book Club 
Vision for Spring 
Registration: Please email Jennifer Flores or Melody Barger if you would like to attend 

Jennifer Flores –  
Melody Barger – 

 posted by Chuck Schallhorn

Friday, August 19, 2016

Indiana Psychology teachers and students READ ON

What do Dr. Drew Appleby, September 30th, Dr. David Myers, and Marian University (of Indiana) have in common?

Image result for drew applebyDr. David Myers is working to get hearing loops installed in public spaces throughout the United States (credit: Julie Von Ins)
      Dr. Appleby                                                      Dr. Myers

ISTOPS...the Indiana Students and Teachers of Psychology Conference!

For a small fee ($15 students/$30 professors/teachers) you can hear Dr. David Myers and Dr. Drew Abbleby who will both present keynotes, and various other high school and college professors will share ideas, present information, and demo great teaching in the field.

More information here ISTOPS Conference!

This conference is generously sponsored by STP, APA, and APS.

--- Posted by Amy Ramponi

Thursday, August 18, 2016

In the Kansas City area? If on!

If you are in the Kansas City, MO area....please consider filling out this short questionnaire. Jen Schlicht of Olathe South High School is gearing up to bring you a regional conference and she needs your help and input!

Image result for kansas city mo

Link can be found here.

---------Posted by Amy Ramponi

Guest Blog: iNeuron

August greetings, THSP blog readers! Some of you have started back to school, some of you are in staff development, and here in good 'ol Wisconsin, we've still got a few weeks of summer vacation left to soak up the dog days of summer! George, Aaron, and I just returned home from a visit to the Wisconsin Dells, where we did a duck tour and went swimming. I think we have the next Michael Phelps here, people! 

Another gratuitous George photo....sorry, I'll stop soon. 

But vacations and warm days is inevitable, school will start soon for all of us. With school starting, we must get back into thinking like teachers (many of us ALWAYS think like teachers, but you know what I mean....)

I was contacted in the past by Adam Gordon, President of Andamio Games, about their product: iNeuron. Adam's been a big fan and supporter of high school psychology teachers and local TOPSS groups for a few years, generous in supporting local conferences with monetary donations and also the best gel pens EVER. (Fun aside, I enjoy days where I arrive home after a long day of work to find Adam has sent a care package of these pens, randomly and without warning. *Hint *Hint)

Today's Guest Blog is by one of Andemio Games staff members on how she uses iNeuron to enhance student understanding on Neurobiology. Read on:

My name is Dr. Katrina Schleisman, and I’m a lifelong lover of psychology and Instructional Designer for Andamio Games. I’m really happy to announce that we have released a completely new version of the educational app iNeuron: I’ve spent the past two years working on iNeuron, developing new content and coordinating a research study to evaluate its efficacy as an educational tool in the classroom. I’ve worked with several hundred middle and high school students using the app, and it’s been a great experience. As a post-doctoral fellow in neuroscience at the University of Minnesota working with the champion of neuroscience education Professor Janet Dubinsky (, I was able to lend my expertise in the cognitive science of learning and the brain to develop content for iNeuron. The scaffolded lessons and circuit-building challenges in the app are a great way to introduce students to neuroscience in an engaging and interactive way. I presented an early version of the app at our local MNTOPPS conference last year and met some great high school psychology teachers. One of them chose to present iNeuron at the conference this year after we tried iNeuron in his psychology classes.

When using iNeuron in classrooms last year I found it was difficult to monitor what students were doing when they used the tablets. iPads are fun toys, and students used them to take selfies, play music, and do just about anything other than what they were supposed to be doing. Andamio wanted to address this challenge by developing a teacher dashboard tool, and we’re excited to announce that it’s released and ready to go. Prior to when class starts, you can use the dashboard to customize lesson plans for their students, changing what challenges appear on the screen and what challenges students have to complete before moving on to others. During class, you can push those lesson plans out to student devices and then monitor student progress in real time. You get notifications when students have left the app and when students are falling behind the rest of the class. After class, you can generate reports of student performance and understand of what concepts students found easy and what concepts students need more help with. Purchasing the teacher dashboard will unlock all iNeuron content for any student device that connects to it, permanently. You can learn more about the dashboard here:

Last but not least, the culmination of all our work was to conduct an evaluation study of iNeuron this past school year in collaboration with the University of Minnesota. Multiple types of high school science classes in the Twin Cities metro area were included in the study such as biology, psychology, and anatomy and physiology. During the 4-day study period students took a pre-test of neuroscience content knowledge on Day 1, used iNeuron in class on Days 2 and 3, and took a post-test of neuroscience content knowledge on Day 4. Classes were assigned to different experimental conditions to test different approaches to using iNeuron with students. Some classes were assigned to a control condition in which teachers taught regular neuroscience lessons in place of iNeuron on Days 2 and 3. The results showed that students in all conditions showed significant gains from pre- to post-test. These results indicate that iNeuron is an effective pedagogical tool for teaching neuroscience content and can be used in a variety of different approaches. The full results of our evaluation are currently being written up to submit for peer-reviewed publication and we look forward to sharing the details with you when they become available.

Bio: Dr. Katrina Schleisman is the lead Instructional Designer for Andamio Games. She took her first psychology course in high school and didn’t stop until she received her PhD 2014, majoring in psychology and minoring in education sciences. She recently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the neuroscience department at the University of Minnesota. She’s a Minneapolis native and spends her free time playing music in a local band with her husband and gardening with her cat.

Image result for katrina schleisman
Dr. S sans gardening kitty  (I want a picture of that.)

Have a very, very happy and productive end of August! Enjoy the last few days if you haven't gone back yet! And if you have...Labor Day weekend is coming up fast! 

----Posted by Amy Ramponi 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Contest: WORST EXAMPLE of Psychological Science Writing

I wonder if this happens to the rest of you: you're glancing through your daily social media feed, or the newspaper, or your email, and to stumble upon a really awful article about psychology (or claims to be about psychology). It's usually a summary of research that is either horribly incomplete, or flat out wrong. Does that happen to you?

It happens to me. Often. My usual response is to tweet it out there with some expression of frustration ("Ugh" "Argh!!" "No!!!" etc.) but maybe it's time to collaborate and ramp up our responses.

If you find an article, blog post, etc. that makes some horrifying claim related to psychology, please either put it in the comments here or send me the link at I'll work on making some sort of "Hall of Shame." Might turn into a good activity for students? They could play "find the worst mistake?"

Here's my nomination for the Hall of Shame:

I think I counted ONE sentence that is probably completely correct (for the record: it's the first sentence). The rest of it... oh my. I'm not a bio-psychologist, but even I can spot the over generalizations, misrepresentations, and general goofiness in there. Whew. (thanks to @Neuro_Skeptic for finding the article - if you don't follow her/his twitter feed, you should!)

posted by Rob McEntarffer

Monday, August 8, 2016

Noncomplementarity Behaviors

Did any of you listen to the episode of Invisibilia called "Flip the Script?" 

It's a fascinating story about a social psychology concept called "Noncomplimentary behavior" - deliberately NOT matching the tone/intent/intensity of messages aimed at us. Noncomplimentary behaviors may help defuse negative situations. As far as I know this idea isn't in intro. psych. textbooks yet, but high school students will find it fascinating, and it may be very relevant (and useful) in their lives. 

Related resources:

posted by Rob McEntarffer