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Social Science I (Psychology)

August 28, 2013

PSYCHOLOGY
Semester Course

Instructor:  Mr. Justin Cox
E-mail:  coxjt@tripointschools.org
Phone #:  (815)689-2110 ext. 336

"I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have." Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

** If you didn't know that Lincoln authored this quote, you might think that another Abraham-namely Abraham Maslow-was its author. According to Maslow's self-actualization theory, we strive to achieve our inner potential which may or may not result in success. The "light we have" is our unique ability to become the best we can be.

Psychology is the study of behavior and mental processes.  The fundamental questions of “Why do people behave the way that they do in certain situations?” and “How can people change their behaviors?” will be addressed throughout this course.
Students will gain a better understanding of human behavior by examining how people learn and develop, how our minds operate, what factors effect behavior and how human behavior and interaction is affected by society.  The class will also discuss the scientific method and various approaches that are used to study behavior and formulate theories in psychology.  

CLASS EXPECTATIONS

Course Description:
This course focuses on individual behavior and why an individual thinks, feels, and reacts to certain stimuli.  Major emphasis will be placed on research methods, stages in childhood and adolescence, how the brain works, altered states of consciousness, psychological testing, and psychological disorders.

Course Objectives:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of perspectives in psychology, research methods, terminology, and concepts in psychology.
2. Improve writing skills in regards to psychological content and technical aspects of writing.
3. Critically evaluate psychological issues presented to them in class.

Topics:  

The following questions will be explored in this class:
● What is psychology?  Why is it important to me?
● How do we learn?
● How does our brain work?  
● How do we make memories?
● How do we make sense of the world?
● What can we learn from our dreams?
● How do drugs impact our brain, memories, perception and senses?
● What is abnormal psychology?
● What is psychological testing?

Supplies:  All students are expected to bring:

1. Textbook everyday (unless told specifically by the teacher).
2. A notebook, binder, folder, or anything that has paper.
3. Something to write with every day (pencil and/or black/blue pen).
4. Assignment book / Planner

Grading:  

1. Student grades will be based on a variety of activities, including:
• Tests
• Quizzes
• Class discussions
• Papers and/or homework assignments
• Individual or small group projects

2. Grades will be based on accumulation of points throughout the semester.
3. The point value for assignments will vary.

Homework/Tests/Quizzes:
1. Do your homework (especially if asked to read the night before).  It is my policy to strongly discourage work from being turned in late, in an attempt to prevent bad habits from forming now and in the future.  It is the student’s responsibility to remain updated and turn in work on time.  Late work will be accepted under the following guidelines:
a. 1 day late … maximum grade achievable = 75%
b. 2 days late …………………………… = no longer accepted!!

*** Remember, some points are better than none.***

While emergencies arise, and will be handled individually, students should plan ahead and not wait until the last minute to complete assignments.  Things such as printer failure, empty ink cartridge, my dog ate my homework, etc… will not be acceptable excuses.  Make sure to PLAN AHEAD!!!

Classroom Rules:  

The following rules will guide our classroom behaviors:
1. Be on time to class!!!
2. Everyone has the right to learn.  
○ Students will not be allowed to distract or interrupt others’ learning.
○ Respect everyone and their property.
3. Students are to treat each other, teachers, substitute teachers, and guest speakers with respect.
4. Come to class prepared with ALL materials every class.
5. Raise your hand and wait to be acknowledged before speaking.
6. Vandalizing school property or the property of others’ will result in a consequence.
7. Inappropriate clothing or language will not be allowed.
8. NO CHEATING!  Any cheating will result in an automatic zero. Definition of cheating is at the teacher’s discretion.  
9. Any assignments turned in without a name will receive a warning and after that an F.
10. Stay seated in your desk until Mr. Cox dismissed the class.

Film Permission Form

Dear Students and Parents/Guardians,

It is my policy to seek permission for using video clips and/or full-length films in the classroom if they are rated PG-13 or R.  I want to make it clear that we may not watch all films in their full-length form, but rather a majority of the films will be used in a short clip format only.

I believe that in showing your son or daughter films or portions of films will enable them to benefit from another medium as a resource in their study of certain subject matter.  Sometimes connecting ideas from a film or film clip can help them better grasp the concept or subject matter we are discussing.  I understand that in some scenes within a movie harsh language and violence is used, yet if we were to eliminate every movie deemed to have something objectionable in it, we would lose the use of relevant parts as tools for learning.

If there are any objections from parent/guardian and/or student, an alternative assignment (usually reading a book and short paper) will substitute the grade value of any given assignment relevant to the film.  PLEASE note that the film will be used as a supplement to what we will be learning in class.  They will not replace lectures or other activities that we will be doing throughout the semester.

If any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me at:  (815)689-2110 ext. 336 or coxjt@tripointschools.org

PLEASE mark Yes or No.  Then sign/date and cut-off bottom portion and return bottom portion to Mr. Cox.  Thank You!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Student Name: _____________________________________________________

Date: __________________

_____ YES – I give my child permission to view scenes, sequences, and films that are being used for educational purposes.

_____  NO – I have concerns about my child viewing any PG-13 or R-rated film clips, sequences, and films in the classroom and would like an alternative activity.

Parent/Guardian Signature: ___________________________________________

Date: _________________

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