IB Psychology

  • P7 Google Classroom: 7oguskk

    Course Description

    Psychology is the study of the mind, mental processes and behavior. This course will introduce students to three different approaches to understanding human behavior: cognitive, biological and sociocultural. Students will examine the theories, research, and notable scientists behind these approaches and then compare, contrast, and integrate them into a holistic approach. 

    Students will use the study of human relationships as a vehicle to study these three approaches and to explore overarching issues of research methodology and ethics. 

    Students will study all aspects of the research process including design, implementation, and analysis, and then they will utilize sound methods in completing their own research.  Students will also explore the ethical considerations of research and follow appropriate ethical standards in their own experimentation.

    Through this course, students will gain factual knowledge, but more importantly, they will develop the skills of careful reading, effective communication, critical thinking, academic research, ethical experimentation, and rigorous analysis.

    Course Outline

    Introduction & Research Methodology
    Psychology is a science, and psychological research should be conducted using the scientific method and proper research methodology including:

      1. Research: research design, hypothesis, variables, sampling, standardization, and ethical considerations;
      2. Analysis: data presentation, statistical analysis, and content analysis;
      3. Evaluation: reliability, validity, credibility, and bias; and
      4. Conclusion: correlation, causation, replication, generalization, transferability, and triangulation.

    Cognitive Approach
    The cognitive approach to behavior studies how a person perceives, processes, stores and retrieves information as well as how emotional states influence these functions.

    Biological Approach
    The biological approach to behavior examines the brain and its components, hormones, pheromones, and genetics and studies how they correlate to a person’s behavior. 

    Sociocultural Approach
    The sociocultural approach to behavior evaluates a person’s mental processes and behaviors within a group to determine how social and cultural factors impact a person’s beliefs, identities, attitudes, and behaviors. 

    Human Relationships
    The psychology of human relationships examines relationships between individuals focusing on personal relationships, group dynamics, and social responsibility.

    Internal Assessment - Required
    Students will replicate an established experiment and report their findings. Students will work as part of a group to plan and conduct the experiment. Once the data has been collected, students will work independently to write a report of their experiment and findings. The final product will be an 8-page paper including an introduction, instructions, consent forms, exploration, data tables, notes, analysis, evaluation, and references. We will dedicate approximately 20 hours of class time to this assessment.

    External Assessment - Optional
    Students may take the IB External Assessment which is offered on Friday, May 10th and Monday, May 13th.  Paper 1 consists of one short-answer question on each of the three core approaches to psychology and one essay from a choice of three questions on the core approaches. Paper 2 consists of one essay from a choice of three questions on one of the optional areas of study. Registration for the IB External Assessment is due by Friday, November 3rd.

    International Baccalaureate Scoring Breakdown

    External assessment- Paper 1                 50%
    External assessment - Paper 2                25%
    Internal Assessment                                 25%


    Class Expectations

    This course will move quickly through complex information and theories.  In order to foster meaningful class discussions and prepare successfully for assessments, students should come to class on time and fully-prepared each day. This class is built around active, positive classroom citizenship, and students should be prepared to share ideas and opinions in a respectful, open-minded manner.  

    Google Classroom is an essential course tool. I will post slide presentations, assignments, readings and handouts in Classroom, and students will need to answer questions and submit assignments through Classroom. Please let me know immediately if you do not have access to a computer or internet service at home so we can make other arrangements. 

    Students should take notes on readings, lectures and discussions in a manner that prepares them for summative assessments and the IB External Assessment. I recommend taking notes on loose-leaf paper or in a notebook and using a 3-ring binder to organize readings, handouts and notes. All coursework must be written legibly on loose-leaf paper, printed on copy paper or submitted electronically.

    If you are absent, check Google Classroom, review the day’s slide presentation, and complete any assignments if you are able. You will have one week upon your return to school to complete missing work. If you need additional time, please contact me to develop a schedule for completing your work.

    I accept late work until the end of the unit in which it was assigned. Unless you have made an alternate arrangement with me, I will mark all missing assignments as “0” at the end of each unit. 

    Students are expected to follow all Big Sky High School policies in this classroom.  In particular, please familiarize yourself with the school’s policies for attendance, academic honesty, cell phone use, and appropriate conduct as explained in the Big Sky Student Handbook. I will enforce these policies uniformly and consistently.

    Senate Bill 99 gives parents and guardians the right to withdraw their student from any human sexuality instruction. According to Senate Bill 99, “human sexuality instruction” means teaching or otherwise providing information about human sexuality, including intimate relationships, human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual orientation, and gender identity. These topics are required elements of this IB course and may be assessed on the IB External Exam. Students whose parents or guardians are not comfortable with this instruction should contact me immediately to discuss the appropriateness of the class.

    Grading Policy

    For larger or summative assignments, I use a 4-point standards-based scale. Please review the attached standards-based grading rubric for a more detailed explanation of each standard. 

    1    Beginning Skill and Knowledge
    2    Approaching Skill and Knowledge
    3    Achieving Skill and Knowledge
    4    Mastering Skill and Knowledge

    For smaller, formative assignments, I use a 3-point checkmark system.

    ✓-    Incomplete, Limited Understanding
    ✓    Complete, General Understanding
    ✓+    Detailed, Comprehensive Understanding

    Your course grade will consist of the following components: 

    70%    Summative Assessments (Papers, Tests, Projects, Presentations)
    20%    Formative Assessments (Homework, Quizzes)
    10%    IB Learner Skills, Eagle Code, Career and College Readiness

    Using this standard-based grading scale and these components, I will post progress report, mid-term and final grades using these grade ranges:

    A    85-100%
    B    70-84.5%
    C    50-69.5%
    D    35-49.5%
    F    Below 34.9%

    Do not wait until the end of the progress period to express dissatisfaction with your grades. Please check our Google Classroom and your Infinite Campus account frequently and talk with me about any concerns.  I’m here to help you learn!