Advanced Placement Psychology
Instructor: Ms. Roethle
Room Number: A204
Contact Info: 920.467.7890 Ext. 3204 – email@example.com
Office Hours: Hour 3; Monday-Friday 7:15-8:00AM and after school by appointment
Important Note: The classroom door is always open. Students are encouraged to utilize this time for questions inquiries about personal interests in psychology, career questions and optional feedback on exams and writing etc.
Purpose of the course
The purpose of the Advanced Placement Course in Psychology is to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students are exposed to the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with the major sub-fields within psychology. Students will also learn about the ethics and methods psychologists use in their science and practice. (from Advanced Placement Course Description in Psychology)
This is a rigorous and demanding course intended to provide the scope and level of accomplishment expected in a college/university setting. The curriculum for this course places a heavy emphasis on essential readings, writing assignments, independent projects, and frequent tests intended to prepare students for the AP Exam. Please understand from the onset a fact of great importance: the more important person in this classroom is “you”. Acting as a college student, you are expected to “charge ahead” on your own, to seek, find and internalize knowledge on your own. In short, you must be the agent in your educational process. The instructor’s role is to facilitate your drive and accomplishment by structuring learning situations and selecting learning tools to help you attain your goals: a successful score on the AP Psychology Exam, and enrichment of your life through the acquisition of psychological knowledge, and enjoyment of the course.
- Students will be introduced to the fascinating discipline of psychology, the scientific study of behavior and mental processes.
- Students will be able to understand psychological principles and be able to apply them to their lives and to the world.
- Students will develop critical thinking skills, encouraging careful analysis of media claims, research results, etc.
- Students will develop study skills focusing on note-taking, study strategies and time management.
Five Considerations of CAPP Psychology vs. Psychology at the University/College Level
- Advanced Standing in College
- Cost Considerations
- Class Sizes
- Hours of Instruction/Number of Classes
- Teacher vs. Professor/Classroom vs. Lecture Hall
Five Benefits of Studying Psychological Science
- To gain a better understanding of yourself.
- To gain an appreciation of the great variability of human behavior.
- To gain a better understanding of how human behavior is influenced/causes of behavior.
- To gain a better understanding of science and research principles.
- To gain knowledge and skills that will help you adapt and function more effectively in life.
Questions to Think About Before We Begin
- Why are you taking this class? Do you want to learn psychology? Are you ready for a college level course?
- What are your priorities? Are academics near the top of the list?
- How much time will you need to devote to this class? This will depend on your own strengths and weaknesses. A rule of thumb suggested by many colleges is to spend about three hours outside of class for every hour you spend in class. Since most college courses meet three hours a week, this translates to about six to nine out-of-class hours per week. Are you willing to make that kind of commitment?
- Are you a strong reader? In terms of course assignments, nothing will occupy more of your time than reading and studying the text. Research has shown that the strongest correlate of success in high school AP classes is reading ability. If you are a good reader, you have a distinct advantage. If you are not a good reader, know that it is going to require extra time and effort on your part to compensate.
Keep in mind that your level of motivation is much more important than your ability level. If you want to succeed in this course and if you are willing to put in the necessary effort, you will succeed. Attitude, study skills, determination and discipline count for more than intelligence.
What can you do to help yourself?
- Don’t miss class. Be in class everyday.
- Your number one goal should be to learn psychology. If you are determined to learn psychology, you will succeed.
- Don’t be afraid to get help if you don’t understand something. I am willing to help you in any way that I can. How can you get help?
- Ask questions before, during, and after class.
- See me before or after school.
- Keep up with your reading! Don’t fall behind. Learn to read more effectively:
- Read actively; don’t just look at words. If you spend a half hour “reading” but are unable to recall anything when you are done, you have wasted your time. Reading a college level text requires a great deal more effort and concentration than the latest Jodi Picoult novel does!
- Preview a chapter quickly before you begin and review frequently. Pause at the end of each paragraph and summarize mentally, in your own words, what you just read.
- Do not try to read an entire chapter at once. Each chapter of your text is divided into several major sections. Limit your reading to one of those sections at a sitting.
- Pay attention to picture, diagrams, tables, cartoons, sidebars, etc. in your text and reading. These features serve to make the material more interesting and may include important information.
- Take notes as you read. Keep a list of questions about the reading.
- Take complete, dated class notes. Put them in your own words. Don’t write down something you don’t understand without asking about it. Leave some blank space on each page to make additions and clarifications. It is very important to review your notes each day while they are still fresh in your mind. Expand them, clarify them, and add examples so that they will make sense when you go back to study from them later. Note anything that doesn’t make sense and ask about it the following day.
- Keep up!!! Don’t fall behind!!! Set a schedule and be disciplined enough to stick to it. Complete assignments and finish reading on time. Be prepared for class every day. Review each week.
- Form a study group. This is an excellent way for a group of student to help each other succeed and have a good time as well.
Kalat, James W. (2008). Introduction to Psychology: 8th Edition.
- 2 inch 3-ring binder for all handouts, notes, and assignments
- A set of divider tabs (about 12)
- Loose-leaf paper
- Pen(s) and pencil(s)
- note cards (optional)
You will be responsible for keeping it neat and well organized. In it, you should keep all handouts, class notes, notes from the text, study guides, and returned papers. Success in this course depends on good organization.
- Late work is a teacher’s nightmare! Sorry, they are due at the beginning of class. It is not fair to other students who are waiting for timely feedback on their work. The highest grade you will get on a late assignment is 50% (which is still better than a zero!)
- Make-up work is another teacher’s nightmare! If you have an excused absence that you could not anticipate (ex. Illness or family emergency) on the day of a test or the day an assignment is due, you should be prepared to take the test or turn in the work on the day you return to school. If you have an excused absence that you know about in advance (ex. College visit), make arrangements with me before the absence takes place. It makes a very favorable impression when you are able to get work done despite legitimate absences.
- DON’T CHEAT! The damage to your integrity and reputation (at least with me) is difficult, if not impossible to repair. Better to do poorly with dignity than to get an A dishonestly.
- Attendance is very important. Don’t sabotage yourself by being on the every-other-day plan. Every day is important. You will have a daily schedule for every unit. If you are absent, you must be responsible for getting any notes and handouts from the class you missed. I will not hunt you down.
- Do not be tardy. Tardiness is rude and disruptive. The school policy will be followed.
- Engage in positive participation at all times. This includes the following:
- Raise your hand when you wish to be recognized.
- Do not interrupt other students or the teacher. It is rude.
- Make only positive comments to others. Negative talk of any kind will not be tolerated, even in jest. This includes jokes or other remarks that are racist, sexist, ethnic or homophobic in nature.
- Come to class with all appropriate materials. This includes writing utensils, paper (loose leaf), required notebook, etc. Passes to lockers will generally not be written.
- Be an active listener. Pay attention to what others in class have to say. Good class discussion involves listening as well as talking.
- Come to class prepared to be an active participant. School can be quite boring if you sit there silently all day.
Below 60% F
Your grade will be determined by your performance on tests, quizzes, and assignments.
- Assignments/Projects – There will be some application worksheets and note guides to aid with understanding and reading. All work has a purpose, there is not busy work. Be prepared for some larger projects as well!
- Exams – An exam will conclude each unit and a comprehensive exam will take place at the end of each semester. The exam will have a variety of different kinds of questions including multiple choice, short answer, and free response (essay).
- Quizzes – Students should expect regular quizzes. Daily quizzes cannot be made up, so regular attendance is very important. If you have a field trip on the day of a quiz, you may come in before school to take the quiz. Quizzes will be organized into “Quiz Sets.” Your lowest score in any quiz set will be dropped.