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 Psychology and Sociology  Course Syllabus

Mr. Mark Hardy 
Voice Mail:  632-1600 ext 328
Prep/Office Hours:  Mr. Hardy is available in room L1 from 12:45 to 3:15 on Blue days, and during lunch and after school on Silver days.

Welcome to Psychology and Sociology!  Together, we will explore the exciting world of individual human thought and behavior, as well as social interaction.  My goals for you as a student are as follows.  First, that you would master the essentials of Psychology and Sociology.  Comprehending these subjects will certainly deepen your understanding of the world, yourself, and the people around you.  Secondly, I hope that we all enjoy the process of discovery.  I believe that learning can and should be fun!  Thirdly, I hope that this course awakens in you a desire to seek out more knowledge about human behavior and interaction.

Course Description
Psychology and Sociology is an academic elective, fulfilling the UC and CSU “g” requirement.  We will spend the first semester and most of the second exploring Psychology, the study of individual human behavior and mental processes. For some of the second semester, we will explore Sociology, the study of social groups and interactions.  In both disciplines we will employ an interactive style, encouraging students to actively participate in their own learning.  In addition, we will emphasize current events and real world applications, demonstrating the relevance of the course content to the students’ lives.

Units of Study
The essential concepts and skills associated with each unit will be clearly explained at the time of the unit.
Study of Psychology
Unit One:  Memory and Learning
-Conditioning, Storage and Retrieval of Information
Unit Two:  History and Theories of Psychology
-Research and the Scientific Method
Unit Three:  The Brain/Neuroscience
-Neurons, Central and Peripheral Nervous System
Unit Four:  The Developing Person
-Lifespan and Stages
-Thinking and Language Development
Unit Five:  Sensation and Perception
-The five senses, illusions
Unit Six:  Consciousness
-Sleep and Dreams, Altered States
Unit Seven:  Personality and Intelligence
-Testing, Traits and Abilities
-Gender Differences
Unit Eight:  Abnormal Psychology
-Mental Disorders and Psychotherapy

Study of Sociology
Due to the depth of our study of Psychology, we will only complete one unit of study in Sociology, introducing students to the basics of the study of human interaction and social groups.  Our study will touch on such subjects as: Culture, social inequality, and social institutions such as the family, the media, and religion.

Grading Policy
In order to pass Psychology/Sociology, students are required to:
1) Demonstrate mastery of all essential skills and concepts. If any skills and concepts have not been mastered when a semester ends, a grade of no credit will be issued for that semester.
2) Earn 70% of the total points in the course.
Units will include coursework/homework, projects, and tests. The projects and tests will serve as assessments of essential skills and concepts. Coursework/homework is important in helping students to master the concepts.
Each category will contribute to the final grade as follows (approximations):
Tests 40%
Projects 30%
Coursework/homework 30%
Grades will be determined according to the following scale:
90 – 100%     A
80 – 89%     B
70 – 79%     C
Below 70% or missing any
Essential skills and concepts    NC
*All projects/essays must be turned in on the due date regardless of absence.  
*Students absent on the day of a test will be expected to make up that test upon their return.
*Late work on non-essential assignments is accepted for 50 percent credit, until the end of the current unit of study.  Late work may be accepted beyond the end of the unit, at teacher discretion.
*Clearing a No Mark on a test will result in the score being changed to 70% if the original test score was greater than 50%.  If a student scores less than 50% on a test, the grade will be raised to 60% upon clearing the test.

*Social Studies Grade Comment Key
Essential Skill not passing but must be made-up.                 NM
Non Essential Skill cannot be made up.                               0      
Not Taken/Not Turned In or No Name                               Mi  (Missing)
Absent can be made up                                                           Ab
Excused                                                                                   Ex
There will be a cumulative final exam in Psychology after Unit 8 is completed.

Textbook:  For our study of Psychology, each student will check out a copy of the textbook, Understanding Psychology by Richard A. Kasschau.  For our study of Sociology, we will utilize the textbook, Sociology and You by Shepard and Greene, though students will not check out their own copy.
Notebook: It is vital that you keep an organized notebook of lecture notes, handouts, and coursework in order to prepare for tests. In addition, your notebook will include a section of “Response Journal” entries, which will be turned in each semester as a required project.
Pens:  In addition to a pen or pencil, students should show up each day with a functioning dry erase (white board) pen.  We will use these for in-class review.

Class Participation-Note to Students
Due to the nature of the course, we will study and discuss some sensitive topics. This will require a high level of maturity.  It is vital that we respect one another, and everyone’s right to express themselves.  

“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.  The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
-President John F. Kennedy

I have read and understand the course syllabus for Psychology/Sociology

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