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Social Studies

Psychology in Society - Middle School Elective (Part 1 of 4)

In this 7-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
33 total reviews for this teacher
New class
55 minutes
per class
Twice per week
over 7 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does aMulti-Daycourse work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

How Outschool Works

Available Times

Pacific Time

Tue Oct 4

Oct 4 - Nov 17 (7 weeks)
Tu, Th
3pm - 3:55pm
Don't see a time that works for you?


Class Experience

This class is taught in English.
This class is guided by the following APA National Standards for High School Psychology Curricula. Since it has been designed for learners age 11-14, some standards will be covered without the depth of a high school course and some standards have been omitted to keep the content appropriate for the age group.  

Scientific Inquiry Domain:
~ Perspectives in Psychological Science 
--- Development of psychology as an empirical science
1.1 Define psychology as a discipline and identify its goals as a science
1.2 Describe the emergence of psychology as a scientific discipline
1.3 Describe perspectives employed to understand behavior and mental processes
1.4 Explain how psychology evolved as a scientific discipline
--- Major subfields within psychology 
2.1 Discuss the value of both basic and applied psychological research with human and non-human animals
2.2 Describe the major subfields of psychology
2.3 Identify the important role psychology plays in benefiting society and improving people’s lives

Biopsychology Domain:
~ 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
1.2 Identify the parts of the neuron and describe the basic process of neural transmission
1.3 Differentiate between the structures and functions of the various parts of the central nervous system
1.4 Describe lateralization of brain functions
1.5 Discuss the mechanisms and the importance of plasticity of the nervous system
--- Structure and function of the endocrine system 
2.1 Describe how the endocrine glands are linked to the nervous system
2.2 Describe the effects of hormones on behavior and mental processes
2.3 Describe hormone effects on the immune system
--- The interaction between biological factors and experience 
3.1 Describe concepts in genetic transmission
3.2 Describe the interactive effects of heredity and environment
3.3 Explain how evolved tendencies influence behavior
--- Methods and issues related to biological advances 
4.1 Identify tools used to study the nervous system
4.2 Describe advances made in neuroscience
4.3 Discuss issues related to scientific advances in neuroscience and genetics

~ Sensation and Perception 
--- The processes of sensation and perception 
1.1 Discuss processes of sensation and perception and how they interact
1.2 Explain the concepts of threshold and adaptation
--- The capabilities and limitations of sensory processes 
2.1 List forms of physical energy for which humans and non-human animals do and do not have sensory receptors
2.2 Describe the visual sensory system
2.3 Describe the auditory sensory system
2.4 Describe other sensory systems, such as olfaction, gustation, and somesthesis (e.g., skin senses, kinesthesis, and vestibular sense)
--- Interaction of the person and the environment in determining perception 
3.1 Explain Gestalt principles of perception
3.2 Describe binocular and monocular depth cues
3.3 Describe the importance of perceptual constancies
3.4 Describe perceptual illusions
3.5 Describe the nature of attention
3.6 Explain how experiences and expectations influence perception

~ Consciousness
--- The relationship between conscious and unconscious processes 
1.1 Identify states of consciousness
1.2 Distinguish between processing that is conscious (i.e., explicit) and other processing that happens without conscious awareness (i.e., implicit)
--- Characteristics 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
2.4 Describe types of sleep disorders
2.5 Compare theories about the functions of dreams
--- Other states of consciousness 
4.1 Describe meditation and relaxation and their effects
4.2 Describe hypnosis and controversies surrounding its nature and use
4.3 Describe flow states
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'm also a Nearpod Certified Educator. 
There will be extension activities each week. 
Note-taking handouts will be provided throughout the course.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
A letter grade can be provided upon request prior to the start of the course. 
1 hour 50 minutes per week in class, and maybe some time outside of class.
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. 


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

About Me

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