Course Description/Overview/Welcome Statement
Mrs. Merritt Harris
Phone: (801) 373-6550 ext. 3332
Office Hours: After school and by appointment
Course Description and Objectives
“The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. They also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice.” (College Board, 2017).
Students will engage in the study of Psychology in order to understand the core history, concepts, and theories in the field; acquire use of key terminology; learn basics of psychological research; develop critical thinking skills; and demonstrate competency in Psychology on the AP exam. (College Board, 2017).
AP courses are demanding and rigorous, designed to provide college-level content.
The AP Psychology course description from College Board may be found here and details all learning objectives. Daily learning targets and success criteria will support mastery of these expectations.
Assessment of Progress
A: 100-93 A-: 92-90
B+:89-87 B: 86-83 B-: 82-80
C+: 79-77 C: 76-73 C-: 72-70
D+: 69-67 D: 67-63 D-:62-60
Work is weighted by categories: Test/Project: 50%; Quiz: 30%; Classwork/Homework: 20%
Completion of all four terms with a grade of 60 or higher grants 1 Social Studies elective credit
Makeup and late work:
All work is critical toward success in the course. It is your responsibility to come during tutoring hours for any makeup work prior to a planned absence and immediately following an unanticipated absence.
I will grade all assignments promptly and update PowerSchool weekly. All assignments have a due date. Completing work after the due date limits my ability to provide accurate feedback and help your progress. If you are not able to turn in an assignment on the due date, you must turn in a “Missing Work Plan” paper to me instead outlining the reason for the delay and your plan to complete it promptly.
Zeroes for missing work prevent an accurate picture of student achievement. 0’s will serve as a placeholder for missing work with the expectation that it will be replaced.
Due dates have a two-day grace period (on our block schedule, an assignment could be turned in the next time we meet after a deadline) and will lose points after this period. Work that is turned in within one week of the due date will be docked 20%; between one and two weeks late docked 40%; meet with me regarding work over two weeks late.
A range of formative and summative assessments will be used to monitor student progress. Assessments reflect progress towards learning expectations established by the College Board. Some work (formative, note-taking, etc.) will not be graded since students should not be punished while learning, but is still necessary for success. All graded assessments will be posted in PowerSchool no later than the week of the due date. Students should earn credit for their learning always, thus students may retake any assessment they earned below a 60 on after demonstrating additional practice on the skill(s).
Assessments will include free-response assignments, multiple choice quizzes and exams; and lab work such as observations or experiments. Students will have reading assignments daily, written warmups daily, timed comprehension quizzes at least weekly, and chapter tests.
AP courses are intensive and will require time spent reading and/or completing work outside of our class meeting time. Daily homework will include reading in the textbook to preview and review concepts and chapters with written work as needed.
Individual assignments of extra credit are not available. Students may complete extra credit article work once during each term to replace a homework or classwork grade. This assignment requires finding and reading a psychology article from a peer-reviewed journal and writing a one-page summary and reflection on the article in APA format.
Students must have their supplies every time our class meets. Supplies include a pen or pencil, a journal, their textbook, and a binder or folder to organize work.
Hockenbury, S., Hockenbury, D., & Nolan, S. (2016). Discovering Psychology. 7th Edition. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
LaunchPad: We are lucky to have a new textbook accompanied with online supplemental resources including an e-book, multimedia, and assessments.
AP College Board website: Tips, information, course description for AP Psychology, and practice exams for the AP Exam scheduled for May 7th, 2018. I encourage students to use this online resource.
Remind101: You and your guardians can sign up to receive text announcements from me through this site by texting @phspsych17 to 81010.
Canvas: All students have free access to Canvas, an online classroom. Please find assignments, information, and discussion forums in Canvas at provo.instructure.com
Movies: Film clips and videos will be used occasionally to support our curriculum. Use of brief clips from films rated PG or PG-13may occur. Please contact me if you wish for your student to have alternative instruction on these rare instances.
Cell Phones: All students are expected to follow school policy by keeping these out of sight during class (including headphones) except if granted permission from me for academic purposes (e.g., researching the answer to a question in class). I reserve the right to preserve our classroom environment by confiscating phones if necessary.
Purdue OWL: The APA Guide available on the Purdue OWL website is an excellent resource for formatting questions. We will write in APA style.
Plan for Success: Come to class prepared with your supplies and ready to learn.
Practice Safe Behavior: Unsafe behavior, physical and emotional, will not be tolerated.
Provide and Receive Honest Feedback: All our interactions should be constructive, honest, beneficial to all parties, and necessary.
Promote a Positive Attitude: Positivity is vital and smiling is encouraged! Have fun.
Students are expected to be familiar with and follow all school policies. Find them at www.phs.provo.edu/policies. I also abide by all school policies and the handbook can be found at http://provohigh.provo.edu/faculty-staff/ .
I will not accept academic dishonesty in any form, including plagiarism. All work should be your own, original work with any sources correctly cited per APA. Dishonesty of any form will result in the student attending tutoring to complete a supervised redo of the assignment.
Calendar of Due Dates for Major Assignments
Detailed Course Overview
Our course follows the textbook in scope, sequence, and objectives. Please refer to the textbook and Launchpad for more information.
Chapter 1: Introduction and Research Methods
- What is Psychology? Origins, History, Individuals, Approaches
- Contemporary Psychology: Major Perspectives, Specialty Areas
- The Scientific Method
- Research: Descriptive and Experimental
- Ethics in Research
Chapter 6: Memory
- What is Memory?
- Imperfect Memories
- The Search for the Biological Basis of Memory
Chapter 2: Neuroscience and Behavior
- The Neuron
- The Nervous System and Endocrine System
- The Brain
- Specialization in Cerebral Hemispheres
Chapter 9: Lifespan Development
- Introduction: People are People
- Genetic Contributions to Development
- Prenatal Development
- Development during Infancy and Childhood
- Adult Development
- Late Adulthood and Aging
- The Final Chapter: Dying and Death
Chapter 3: Sensation and Perception
- What are Sensation and Perception?
- The Chemical and Body Senses
- Perceptual Illusions
- Effects of Experience on Perceptual Interpretations
Chapter 4: Consciousness and Its Variations
- Consciousness: The “Private I”
- Biological and Environmental ‘Clocks’
- Dreams and Mental Activity During Sleep
- Sleep Disorders
- Psychoactive Drugs
Chapter 5: Learning
- What is Learning?
- Classical Conditioning and Contemporary Views
- Operant Conditioning and Contemporary Views
- Observational Learning
Chapter 7: Thinking, Language, and Intelligence
- Introduction: Thinking, Language, and Intelligence
- Solving Problems and Making Decisions
- Language and Thought
- Measuring Intelligence
- The Nature of Intelligence
Chapter 8: Motivation and Emotion
- Introduction: Motivation and Emotion Theories
- Hunger and Eating
- Human Sexuality
- Psychological Needs as Motivators
- Theories of Emotion
Chapter 10: Personality
- Introduction: What is Personality?
- The Psychoanalytic Perspective
- The Humanistic Perspective
- The Social Cognitive Perspective
- The Trait Perspective
- Assessing Personality
Chapter 12: Stress, Health, and Coping
- Introduction: Stress and Health Psychology
- Physical Effects of Stress
- Individual Factors in Stress
- Coping with Stress
Chapter 13: Psychological Disorders
- Introduction: Understanding Psychological Disorders
- Fear and Trembling: Anxiety, Posttraumatic Stress, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
- Depressive and Bipolar Disorders
- Eating Disorders
- Personality Disorders
- The Dissociative Disorders
Chapter 14: Therapies
- Introduction: Psychotherapy and Biomedical Therapy
- Psychoanalytic Therapy
- Humanistic Therapy
- Behavior Therapy
- Cognitive Therapies
- Group and Family Therapy
- Evaluating the Effectiveness of Psychotherapy
- Biomedical Therapies
Chapter 11: Social Psychology
- Introduction: What is Social Psychology?
- Person Perception
- Social Psychology of Attitudes
- Understanding Prejudice
- Altruism and Aggression
- Test: May
- Post-test activities and enrichment
Progress Reports and Report Cards
Report cards are sent home at the end of each term. It will include an academic score in addition to a conduct score.
Connecting Home to School
Monitoring Student Progress:
I encourage students and their guardians to monitor progress closely. I will do my part to update PowerSchool and send notices (emails, Remind101, etc.) regarding academics. Please note due dates and exact scheduling is subject to change.
Mrs. Merritt Harris
Phone: (801) 373-6550 ext. 3332
Office Hours: After school and by appointment