Field of Study
Psychology is the science of behavior and mental processes—an approach to examine critically how we and those around us think and act. This introductory class is designed to give an overview of key topics in psychology and to explore possible connections of psychology to future study and careers.
The focus of the course is to help students identify major psychological concepts, and to examine how these concepts influence their daily lives. This course is divided into 8 modules of study. Topics covered include the history and methods of psychology, brain structures, mental disorders, stress and therapy. Additional topics include sensation and perception, sleep and dreaming, child and adult development, motivation and emotion, and social psychology. This course is designed to give students a broad introduction to psychology, and to preview topics that can be further studied at the college level (such as an AP Psychology course, or introductory college courses).
Note: Prior versions of this course were 0.5 credit; the current course is now expanded in scope to fulfill 1 credit in psychology.
Student work in elective psychology will include online materials, including readings, videos, and self-check activities. Assignments will include journals and reflections, quizzes, tests, and projects. Students are expected to complete all assignments and submit in a timely manner, as posted by the instructor. There will be a final course exam to be completed by all students regardless of home school policy. Students should be prepared to log in frequently, and to use school time effectively to complete course requirements.
Students successfully completing this course will earn one (1.0) Virginia high-school elective credit in psychology. The course utilizes standards and domains outlined by the American Psychological Association’s National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula.
Course Texts and Materials
- There is no required textbook for this class; all reading materials and relevant websites are contained within the course. Students should have a reliable and consistent high-speed internet connection to access materials as well as videos, either at school, at home, or both.