IB Psychology

  • Google Classroom: yy4kpp6

    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 field of developmental psychology as a vehicle to study these three approaches and to explore the overarching issues of research 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 apply appropriate ethical standards to their own experimentation.

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

    Course Outline

    Research Methodology
    Proper research methodology includes four components:
       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. 

    Developmental Psychology
    Developmental psychology examines how a person’s mental processes and behaviors develop over time and analyzes how different factors influence cognitive and social development.

    Internal Assessment
    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 up their findings. The final product will be an 8-page report including an introduction, instructions, consent forms, exploration, data tables, notes, analysis, evaluation, and references. 

    External Assessment - IB Paper 1
    Students are eligible to take the IB External Assessment on Tuesday, May 17th.  Paper 1 consists of three short-answer questions on the core approaches to psychology and one essay from a choice of three questions on the biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches to behavior.  Registration for the IB External Assessment is due by Tuesday, November 2nd. 

    Class Expectations

    This course will move quickly yet deeply 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 course 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 allows them to prepare 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, please check Google Classroom, review the 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 so we can 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.

    Grading Policy

    For larger or summative assignments, I use a 4-point standards-based scale.
       1    Beginning Skill/Knowledge
       2    Approaching Skill/Knowledge
       3    Achieving Skill/Knowledge
       4    Exceeding Skill/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: 
       60% Summative Assessments (Papers, Tests, Projects, Presentations)
       30% Formative Assessments (Homework, Quizzes)
       10% IB Learner Skills 

    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!