Psychologists, Social Workers, Counselors, MFTs

Top 20 Principles from Psychology for PreK–12 Teaching and Learning


Course Description: The Top 20 document was created by psychologists representing a wide range of divisions, including those focused on education, school, developmental, social, cognitive, psychometrics, media, counseling and clinical psychology. Each of the contributors has some expertise in the application of psychological science to early childhood, elementary, secondary, gifted or special education; social/emotional learning; or school climate.

The principles are organized into five areas of psychological functioning: cognition and learning; motivation; social and emotional dimensions; context and learning; and assessment. Each of the individual principles listed in the document includes an explanation of the concept, its relevance for instruction, specific tips for teachers and a comprehensive list of related references.

Although the Top 20 principles are designed to apply psychological science broadly to pre-K to 12 teaching, they can also be utilized specifically to enhance the curriculum of introduction to psychology courses and help students develop skills that will help them learn more effectively in all of their classes.

Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze the relevance for instruction of 20 principles of teaching and learning
  • Critique the usefulness of the 20 principles to enhance curriculum development

Course Components:

  • Online text (included)
  • Multiple choice online exam (included)
  • Electronic certificate of completion (free)

Course Credit(s): 2 CE Credits or Hours

Course Format: Online Text (format of this course is noninteractive)

Course Schedule: Self-paced

Course Author(s): Joan Lucariello, PhD, Sandra Graham, PhD, Bonnie Nastasi, PhD, Carol Dwyer, PhD, Russ Skiba, PhD, Jonathan Plucker, PhD, Mary Pitoniak, PhD, Mary Brabeck, PhD, Darlene DeMarie, PhD, and Steven Pritzker, PhD

Content Publisher(s): American Psychological Association

Course Author(s) Qualifications:

Dr. Lucariello is a Professor of Psychology and Educational Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Dr. Graham is a Professor in the Human Development and Psychology division in the Department of Education at UCLA and the University of California Presidential Chair in Education and Diversity.

Dr. Nastasi is a Professor in the Department of Psychology, School of Science and Engineering, at Tulane University.

Dr. Dwyer is a member of Educational Testing Service.

Dr. Plucker is Raymond Neag Endowed Professor of Education at the University of Connecticut.

Dr. Pitoniak is a lead program administrator in the Research and Development Division at Educational Testing Service.

Dr. Brabeck is Professor of Applied Psychology and Dean Emerita of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, University of South Florida.

Dr. DeMarie is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for Educational Psychology at University of South Florida.

Dr. Pritzker is Professor of Psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco. 

Course Level: Beginning/Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced

CEmobile, LLC, #1558, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. CEmobile, LLC maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 5/2/2018-5/2/2021. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.
Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.

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