High School Psychology:

Project baseD

This class is a LIVE class via ZOOM and IN-PERSON simultaneously at the address listed below.

This course provides a comprehensive look at the study of psychological concepts. The goal of this program is to make psychology relevant, fun, interesting, and approachable while meeting the National Standards for High School Psychology written by the American Psychological Association. The course is broken up into six units (see descriptions listed below).

During this course, students will read the book and answer questions, partake in class discussions about current concepts, view documentaries, dissect a sheep brain (virtual or in-person option), conduct an interview, write a lab report, debate the concept "nature or nurture" and work in learning groups.

NOTE FROM INSTRUCTOR: I have been working on this course for a couple of years and I'm excited to offer the final product to homeschoolers this year! This isn't your average course. We will delve deeper into current topics like the right-to-die laws and discuss if the concept of a learning style is legitimate. Furthermore, we will look at several case studies to explore the psychology of evil and attempt to answer the questions: Can "regular" people turn evil and do bad things or is it something one is born with? How does one's environment affect how people turn out? My anatomy and physiology background will come in handy when I teach the class about the physiological effects of stress. 

Our new, customized syllabus has been added to those on the approved a-g list of courses for Ocean Grove, Sky Mountain, and South Sutter Charter School. It satisfies the "g" requirement for the a-g college prep courses


Unit 1: Approaches to Psychology. This unit consists of two chapters. Chapter 1 is an overview of psychology, the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Students will answer the question, “Why should we study psychology?” They will review the history of psychology and research psychology as a profession. Chapter 2 discusses the different methods that psychologists use to study issues and explores some of the problems in conducting research. Students will answer the question, “What is research?” They will look into problems and solutions in research and statistical evaluation.

Unit 2: Life Span. This Unit consists of three chapters. Chapter 3 consists of developmental psychology, the study of the changes that occur as people grow up and grow older. Chapter 4 discusses adolescence, the transition period between childhood and adulthood. The chapter covers individual experiences with physical and sexual development, personality development, social development, and gender role development. Chapter 5 explores the gradual physical, intellectual, social, and emotional changes that occur in adulthood and old age.

Unit 3: The Workings of Mind. This unit consists of three chapters. Chapter 6 describes how our biological processes are connected to our behavioral and psychological processes. Chapter 7 explores the altered states of consciousness and states of awareness. Everything you think and feel is a part of your conscious world. Changing your mental process by sleeping, meditating, undergoing hypnosis, or taking drugs alters your state of consciousness. We understand the world by absorbing information through our senses. Chapter 8 examines sensation and perception, both of which are necessary to gather and interpret information through our surroundings.

Unit 4: Learning and Cognitive Processes. This unit consists of four chapters. Chapter 9 examines the process of learning and the applications of learning techniques. Learning can be defined as a relatively permanent change in behavior that results from experience. Not all behaviors that we learn are acquired in the same way. Chapter 10 is about memory, a complex mental process that allows us to recognize people and perform learned actions. Chapter 11 focuses on thinking and language and the methods we use to solve problems, create ideas, and express our thoughts. Chapter 12 explains how motivation and emotion influence behavior. Motivation addresses the physical and mental factors that cause people to act in a certain way while emotion involves our subjective feelings, physical arousal, and external expressions in response to situations and events.

Second Semester 

Unit 5: Personality and Individuality. This unit consists of two chapters. Chapter 13 focuses on the use of psychological tests to evaluate academic performance, measure mental abilities, and identify personality characteristics. Chapter 14 focuses on the behaviorist, psychoanalytic, social learning, cognitive, humanistic, and trait theories of personality. Personality is the consistent, enduring, and unique characteristics of a person. Psychologists have proposed various theories of personality to attempt to explain similarities and provide reasons for differences in personalities.

Unit 6: Adjustment and Breakdown. This unit consists of three chapters. Chapter 15 addresses stress, a normal part of life. People respond to stress in different ways and use a variety of coping techniques. Chapter 16 is about several types of psychological disorders. People exhibit abnormal behavior when their psychological processes break down and they can no longer function on a daily basis. Chapter 17 describes several kinds of psychotherapy and how they are based on different theories of personality. Psychotherapy is the general term used to describe the several approaches used by mental health professionals to treat psychological disorders.

Unit 7: Social Psychology. This unit consists of four chapters. The study of social psychology explores how our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and behaviors are influenced by our interaction with others. People need social contact, and Chapter 18 is about the choices people make when they try to satisfy their desire for contact with others. A group is a collection of people who interact, share common goals, and influence how members think and act. Chapter 19 examines the kinds of groups people form and the effects of groups on their members and on society. Our attitudes, opinions, and beliefs determine how we define ourselves and guide our behavior toward others. Chapter 20 explores where our attitudes come from, how they change, and how they are affected by societal influences. Chapter 21 focuses on psychology's past and present contributions to society and its future directions.

2560 Soquel Avenue Suites 201, 204, 205, Santa Cruz, CA 96062 |   831-331-5611  |  santacruzlearningcenter@gmail.com

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