Queensland teachers’ perceptions of support for teaching psychology during the initial two years of implementation of the new QCE Psychology

Karen Marangio, Ellen Heyting

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In 2019, Psychology was introduced as a new science study in the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) as part of their major external curriculum reform for senior secondary schools, including the addition of an external high stake’s assessment. Successful introduction of curriculum reform requires sustained and concerted efforts not just from the teachers but also from the school and external (psychology teachers, curriculum authorities, teacher associations and other organisations) systems in which they work. In this qualitative study, as part of a larger project, seven QCE teachers participated in eight collaborative meetings (one per term over two years, including distance learning due to COVID-19 pandemic). Teachers shared their experiences and perceptions of support required to teach this new subject successfully. The data sources were meeting transcripts, teachers’ curriculum and planning documents and researcher notes. Directed content analysis, based on a lens of support from personal, school and external systems, and thematic analysis, in which 5 themes were identified, show that some experiences and concerns varied between teachers, depending on their personal and school contexts, and varied over time as they became more comfortable teaching psychology. Equally, there were some experiences and concerns which remained constant over time and were consistent among participants. Considerations for school and external systems for recognising teachers’ expertise and opportunities for sustained support to suit teachers’ individual needs will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021
EventAustralian Psychology Learning and Teaching (AusPLaT) Conference 2021 - University of Newcastle (online), Newcastle, Australia
Duration: 17 Sept 202119 Sept 2021
Conference number: 3rd


ConferenceAustralian Psychology Learning and Teaching (AusPLaT) Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleAusPLaT 2021


  • secondary school psychology
  • psychology curriculum
  • teachers of psychology
  • curriculum reform
  • perceptions of support
  • out-of-field teaching

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