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Psychology High School Elective (Part 1 of 4)

In this 8-week course, learners will be introduced to the science of psychology, examine the biological perspective, explore how we sense and perceive the world around us, and understand different states of consciousness.
April Williamson
41 total reviews for this teacher
4 reviews for this class
Completed by 12 learners
year olds
learners per class


Charged upfront
$18 per class
Meets 2x per week
Over 8 weeks
55 minutes per class
There are no open spots for this class, but you can request another time or scroll down to find more classes like this.


Class Experience

This class is taught in English.
This class covers the following APA National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula (revised 2022):

Scientific Inquiry and Research Methods:
~ The nature of psychological science
1.1 Define psychology as a discipline and identify its goals as a science
1.2 Differentiate scientific and non-scientific approaches to knowledge
1.3 Explain the value of both basic and applied psychological research with human and non-human animals
1.4 Identify careers individuals can pursue in psychological science
1.5 Identify ways individuals can use psychological science in any career
~ Research methods and measurements used to study behavior and mental processes
2.1 Describe research methods psychological scientists use
2.2 Compare and contrast quantitative and qualitative research methods used by psychological scientists
2.3 Describe the importance of representative samples in psychological research and the need for replication
2.4 Explain how and why psychologists use non-human animals in research 
2.5 Explain the meaning of validity and reliability of observations and measurements
~ Ethical issues in research with human and non-human animals 
3.1 Identify ethical requirements for research with human participants and non-human animals
3.2 Explain why researchers need to adhere to an ethics review process 
~ Basic concepts of data analysis
4.1 Define descriptive statistics and explain how they are used by psychological scientists
4.2 Draw appropriate conclusions from correlational and experimental designs
4.3 Interpret visual representations of data

Biological Bases of Behavior:
~ Structure and function of the nervous system in human and non-human animals 
1.1 Identify the major divisions and subdivisions of the human nervous system and their functions
1.2 Identify the parts of the neuron and describe the basic process of neural transmission
1.3 Describe the structures and functions of the various parts of the central nervous system
1.4 Explain the importance of plasticity of the nervous system
1.5 Describe the function of the endocrine glands and their interaction with the nervous system
1.6 Identify methods and tools used to study the nervous system
~ The interaction between biological factors and experience 
2.1 Describe concepts in behavioral genetics and epigenetics
2.2 Describe the interactive effects of heredity and environment
2.3 Explain general principles of evolutionary psychology

~The functions of sensory systems
1.1 Explain the process of sensory transduction
1.2 Explain the basic concepts of psychophysics such as threshold and adaptation
~ The capabilities and limitations of sensory processes 
2.1 Identify different stimuli for which humans have sensory receptors and explain what this means for their sensory abilities
2.2 Describe the visual sensory system
2.3 Describe the auditory sensory system
2.4 Describe chemical and tactile sensory systems

~The process of perception
1.1 Describe principles of perception
1.2 Explain the concepts of bottom-up and top-down processing
~The interaction between the person and the environment in determining perception
2.1 Explain Gestalt principles of perception
2.2 Describe binocular and monocular depth cues
2.3 Describe perceptual constancies
2.4 Describe the nature of attention
2.5 Explain how diverse experiences and expectations influence perception

~ The different states and levels of consciousness
1.1 Identify states of consciousness
1.2 Distinguish between processing which is conscious (i.e., explicit) and other processing which happens without conscious awareness (i.e., implicit)
1.3 Identify the effects of meditation, mindfulness, and relaxation
1.4 Describe characteristics of and current conceptions about hypnosis
~ Characteristics and functions of sleep and theories that explain why we sleep and dream
2.1 Describe the circadian rhythm and its relation to sleep
2.2 Describe the sleep cycle
2.3 Compare theories about the functions of sleep and of dreaming
2.4 Describe types of sleep disorders
~ Categories of psychoactive drugs and their effects 
3.1 Characterize the major categories of psychoactive drugs and their effects
3.2 Describe how psychoactive drugs work in the brain
3.3 Describe the physiological and psychological effects of psychoactive drugs
I have a Bachelor's in Psychology and a Master's in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) and have taught year-long high school psychology classes since 2014. 

I work hard to keep up with new research and developments in psychology. I attend online workshops often and I recently attended the American Psychological Association 2022 Convention on a grant from the American Psychological Foundation. 

I'm also a Nearpod Certified Educator. 
There will be recommended readings and extension activities each week. 
Note-taking handouts will be provided throughout the course.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
There will be four quizzes to be completed outside of class time throughout the course. A letter grade can be provided upon request prior to the start of the course. 
1 hour 50 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
In week 8, we will be covering psychoactive drugs as an altered state of consciousness. We will characterize the major categories of psychoactive drugs and their effects, describe how psychoactive drugs act at the synaptic level, evaluate the biological and psychological effects of psychoactive drugs, and explain how culture and expectations influence the use and experience of drugs. Students will be encouraged to gain an academic understanding of psychoactive drugs. Research has shown that scare tactics and a "Just Say No" approach to drug education is ineffective; therefore this portion of the class aims to arm students with a deeper understanding of psychoactive drugs, so they can make informed decisions and also understand the experiences of others on biological and psychological levels. 

This class uses Nearpod interactive slides which provide learners with the opportunity to draw and type on slides, answer polls, manipulate drag and drop slides, and more. A Nearpod link will be shared at the beginning of each class. Nearpod does not require users to make an account. 
The suggested readings can be done after each class to reinforce and build on the content. They are from the free online Psychology book from OpenStax, available here: 
If you would prefer a print version, it is available for purchase for about $30. We will use this book for all four parts of the Psychology in Society - High School Elective class. 


April Williamson
Lives in the United States
High School English and Psychology Teacher
41 total reviews
76 completed classes

About Me

🇺🇸 US teacher living in the UK 🇬🇧

Hello! I have taught secondary English, psychology, and social-emotional learning since 2013, working in California, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, Japan, and now England. I've taught at educational summer... 
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