Annual Message from the NZAPT

A message from NZAPT Chair Sam Dudek

Congratulations to all of you who introduced Psychology into your school in 2021. There is no doubt that Psychology is an incredibly popular area of study with both students and, increasingly, parents as it becomes essential knowledge for an ever-growing range of professions. It has been an extremely popular subject for many years at tertiary level here in New Zealand and has been one of the most popular subjects at secondary school in comparable cultures such as the UK, US and Australia.

For you ‘old hands’ - you are no doubt seeing the benefits of implementing Psychology within your school. It helps enhance the understanding of the scientific method by engaging students in critical analysis of historical as well as contemporary research from a range of cultures. It is also an effective tool in identifying the many issues that are at the forefront of current scientific research such as ethics, the replication crisis, cultural as well as gender bias and issues around socially sensitive research. Psychology is directly relevant to both the students as individuals, and their understanding of the social dynamics and stereotypes as they view the world around them.

Over the past 12 months, the NZAPT have developed a bank of moderated examples and feedback has been provided across the range of standards. Additionally, there are teacher resources available for each of the 10 Level 2 and Level 3 standards within the member area of the website.

A strength of psychology in New Zealand is there are many options available that enable you to develop a local curriculum that suits your learners. You may wish to enhance an existing course with specific standards. We have members that have introduced relevant standards within their senior Social Studies courses, Health, English P.E., Business and Science courses. Psychology has also been included within junior Social Science programmes for example when trying to understand the social conformity and obedience exhibited in Europe during the Holocaust.

If we can offer you one bit of planning advice, it is to lay out the standards matrix for the levels that you plan to teach. Against these standards identify the contexts and key areas of study that you wish to share with your students. Researching current courses at tertiary level and also knowing your students can be especially helpful in this process. When considering which topics would fit best with which standards, consider looking at the achievement criteria of the standards. For example, if you are going to teach the Approaches standards at level 2 and 3 be aware that a focus at level 3 is how the Approaches interact. This may mean some topics where the theories of the different approaches integrate in a given context will be more suitable, this doesn’t need to be a restriction at level 2.

As always questions are warmly welcomed on our Facebook page throughout the year!

Sam Dudek

Chairperson, NZAPT

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