ap psychology Syllabus 09-10

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                                       Instructor: Mrs. Lauren Bayersdorfer
                                            (336) 370-8200 - ext. 4803

Background: Last year was my first year teaching at Page High School; however, since I graduated from Page, I’ve
been a Page Pirate for many years. I have a BA in psychology from Colby College and a Masters of Education from
the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While attending Page High School, I thoroughly enjoyed the
challenges of my AP classes and I am excited to have this opportunity to expose my students to the ever changing
world of psychology

AP Psychology Overview:
        The AP Psychology course is designed to introduce students to the systematic and scientific study of the
behavior and mental processes of human beings and other animals. Students will be exposed to the psychological
facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subfields within psychology. Emphasis will be
placed on learning the methods psychologists use in their science and practice. Case studies are the primary
method used throughout the year to illustrate and enhance psychological principles.

        This course is designed to mirror an entry-level college course. A student successfully receiving a score of
3 or better on the AP exam will generally receive college credit for Introduction to Psychology.

Content Outline:
       1.      Methods, History & Approaches
       2.      Biological Basis of Behavior
       3.      Developmental Psychology
       4.      Sensation & Perception
       5.      Social Psychology
       6.      Learning
       7.      States of Consciousness
       8.      Memory
       9.      Thinking, Language, and Intelligence
       10.     Personality
       11.     Motivation & Emotion
       12.     Abnormal Psychology and Therapy

Course Goals:
       This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the different fields of psychology,
what psychologists do, and how they answer questions about thinking, emotion, and human behavior. Students are
encouraged to take the AP exam in May as a means of earning college credit (see attached information from AP
coordinator). This exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and two essays. The course will require a clear
understanding of research methods and psychological experimentation as well as an understanding of basic
psychological concepts, terminology, principles and applications of psychology. Psychology deals with many topics of
concern to all people in their daily lives. An important goal of this course is to help students make personal
connections to psychological research.

          To accomplish the goals above, the following methods and procedures will be used in this course:

Reading the textbook: Your textbook is an excellent source of psychological terms, concepts, principles and
applications. It is my assumption that all students are willing and capable of reading the text on their own. A
semester list of reading assignments will be provided and you are expected to have completed each assignment

AP Psychology 09-10                                                                                                1
prior to the topic being covered in class. This does not mean that you will fully understand each concept read about.
You are expected to bring up points of confusion that you have during class discussions. I will not cover all
important text material in class. Therefore, it is essential that you read each chapter carefully.

Class sessions: Class sessions will not simply review topics that are in the text. Class sessions will be divided
between coverage of difficult text material and extensions of the text (e.g. adding depth, covering related
materials, and personalizing the concepts). There will also be a variety of class activities, which will allow you to
become actively engaged in psychology.

Homework: Any assigned homework is due at the beginning of the class session. You should expect to receive
objectives and psychology terms with each reading assignment. It is essential to explain terms in your own words,
rather than copy a definition from the book. Homework grades are also given for writing assignments and projects.
Terms that are included and explained in the objectives need not be repeated.

Tests: Tests will be multiple-choice, similar to the AP exam. Every test will require a # 2 pencil. I will not provide
pencils. As the year progresses tests will include both multiple choice and free response questions.

        It is important that all students are present for tests. As an incentive when the entire class is present
        for the test an additional 3 points will be added to the each class members’ test grade. If a student
        arranges to take a test early they will be considered as present for the extra credit. Other types of extra
        credit are rarely offered.

Free Response Questions: You should expect essays (FRQ) interspersed throughout the course. Essays will
generally be geared toward helping you prepare to answer similar questions on the AP exam. Psychological essays
are written in a style referred to as technical writing. Most students will have to make adjustments in their
present writing style to become proficient technical writers. Experiments, seminars and case studies often serve
as resources for these essays.
Essays will be completed either as a home assignment (which can be typed – double spaced, 12 point font) or as a
class opportunity. If hand written the essay must be in blue or black ink on good loose-leaf paper or on a provided

Class Participation: Class participation is essential for this course. This includes participating in class discussions,
seminars, experiments and activities. Note-taking is also considered an important part of participation.

Attendance:. If you are not in the room you can’t participate. Therefore, it is essential that you are in class every
day. If you have no choice and must miss a class then you need to make up the work immediately. If you are aware
that you will be missing a class because of a school activity or a family trip, it is your responsibility to inform me
before not after you miss the class. My syllabus is based on a yearly plan and it is possible to keep up with
assignments, even if you’re out of class for an extended period due to illness.

Review Text: D&S Marketing produces an excellent supplement/review text. Every student is expected to
purchase one at the price of approximately $20. This text is the best tool available for clarifying complex
theories and terminology. Texts must be ordered through the teacher.

Please have your parents read the above guidelines for the course and sign below.

_______________________                 ____________________________
      Parent signature                        Student signature
Please keep these guidelines in the front of your notebook followed by your reading schedule.

AP Psychology 09-10                                                                                                        2
                Revised AP Testing Requirement Information for 2009-2010

             Students enrolled in AP courses are encouraged, though not required, to take the AP exam.
             Success on the AP exam is the only way to earn college credit. All students enrolled in AP
             classes will receive the higher quality points for being in an AP (A = 6.0 GPA; B = 5.0; etc.). The
             score a student receives on the national exam does not affect the final grade in the class.
             Students in courses with lab waivers should consult with their teachers as to the specifics for
             those classes.

             Students will be presented with a form letter, which must be filled out and returned indicating
             their intention to take the exam or not no later than the dates below. In establishing these dates,
             all AP students will have an equal exposure to the classes before deciding on their course of
             action. Those dates for 2009-10 are:

                     Block, Fall semester class          Sept. 25
                     Block, Spring semester class        Feb. 22
                     Traditional schedule                Oct. 28
                     A/B class meeting                   Oct. 28
                     Schools operating on special calendars to be determined on site

             Students will, on the date listed above, bring the AP Information and Testing Choice
             form indicating their intentions in to their teachers. A bill will be generated and their
             check (if needed) will be collected by the school treasurer. Students who qualify for FRL
             status need to bring the form in to state their intentions regarding the exam. Students
             who qualify for FRL take the exams free of charge. Students will be given a receipt, and
             a record of commitment will be on file for the purposes of accurately ordering the exams
             at the appropriate date. This decision is not reversible, and no refund (except for
             special circumstances, such as transferring out of the district or the school) will
             be given. Decisions whether or not to take the exam should be based on a variety of
             factors, not just the current grade in the course.

AP Psychology 09-10                                                                                            3

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