Psychology Grades 11-12

Grades 11-12

This course introduces the student to the principles of psychology by examining the major theories and discovering how they relate to people in their environments.  The course is designed to promote student curiosity about the causes of human behavior.  Specific courses may emphasize either the scientific basis of psychology or the personal insight and adjustment side of psychology. The five content domains cited by the American Psychological Association (APA) are Methods, Biopsychological, Cognitive, Developmental, and Socio-emotional. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District courses are organized around these domains. The individual instructor will determine the specific content for this course based on available materials, resources, and the specific needs of the school site.

In order to meet the APA National Standards for the Teaching of High School Psychology* students need to

• Understand the methodological aspects of the discipline of psychology.
• Improve in the ability to reason scientifically about human behavior.
• Read and interpret psychological findings.
• Use a variety of perspectives to explain causality.
• Evaluate the quality of psychological findings.
• Use psychological concepts to explain behavior.
• Acknowledge the role of psychology in promoting human welfare.
• Understand the biological basis of behavior.
• Examine theories of intelligence.
• Recognize the depth and complexity of behavior and mental processes.
• Investigate patterns of behavior that are considered deviant or distressful in our culture, and understand how psychologists diagnose disorders. 

* A copy of the “National Standards for the Teaching of High School Psychology” can be found on the World Wide Web at

• Examine theories of personality (e.g., behavioral, cognitive, psychoanalytic, humanistic).
• Demonstrate environmental effects on behavior.
• Complete learning styles inventories.
• Conduct research using a variety of appropriate and current research.
• Produce brochures on psychological topics (e.g., how to improve memory).
• Explore careers in psychology and related fields.
• Conduct panel discussions on controversial topics in psychology.
• Participate in debates on a variety of psychology topics (e.g., violence in the media and its influence on behavior).
• Design an intelligence test.
• Construct models (with corresponding keys) of brain structures and functions.
• Participate in demonstrations of learning theories (e.g., shaping, classical conditioning).
• Conduct surveys.
• Read and analyze the works of leading figures in psychology, historical and current (e.g., Freud, Jung, Rogers, Maslow).
• Review case studies in psychology.
• Invite practicing psychologists to serve as guest speakers.
• Create treatment plans for a variety of disorders. 

• Brochures
• Case studies
• Current event portfolios on selected topics
• Debates
• Diagrams and models
• Essays
• Journals
• Lab write-ups
• Multimedia presentations
• Position papers
• Research papers
• Simulations and demonstrations
• Small group presentations and projects (rubric-scored)
• Tests and quizzes