Psychology in Motion - How Psychology Is Taught in Other Schools
School: Tawa College Levels taught: level 2 and 3 Psychology Number of students taking psychology: 117 Level 2 students and 95 Level 3 students Number of teachers: 2 Overview of course: Level 2 · Personality: Students examine different personality types and trial personality tests on each other in the style of occupational psychologists. We use a diagnostic manual (DSM-5 ) to introduce several personality disorders, then use that information to identify personality disorders in movie characters. Students are taught the theories and treatments of Antisocial Personality Disorder and apply knowledge in the field of clinical psychology for a fictional client (a well known movie character). · Crime: Students are taught theories of aggressive behaviour and examine famous criminals, applying their knowledge to explain the behaviours. We then independently apply knowledge of why people commit aggressive crimes to write an article about their chosen criminal from the view of a forensic psychologist. · Social Influence: Students focus on conformity (majority and minority) and obedience to explain historical events. We examine the ethical issues of famous psychological studies and weigh up the cost and benefit to society. · Anomalistic Psychology: Students debate the scientific nature of psychology after investigating areas of anomalistic psychology such ESP, out of body experiences and poltergeists. Students examine definitions of science with the intention of debating “is psychology a science?” · Food: Students examine theories of food preference and conduct experiments to investigate factors that affect food preference. We investigate numerous eating disorders using the DSM-5. Students analyse the theories behind Anorexia Nervosa and examine the treatments that apply the theories we have covered. · Positive Psychology: Students investigate what makes people happy and create definitions of happiness using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We examine Zimbardo’s hero project to create a social action in the school. Students end the year completing their final experiment, investigating if it is better to give or receive (using sweets or cake).
Level 3 · Sleep: Students examine how circadian rhythms work as well as a variety of sleep disorders. We then investigate the effects of sleep deprivation and conduct supervised sleep deprivation experiment here in Tawa College. · Intelligence: Students construct and debate definitions of intelligence. Students take IQ tests and discuss their validity. We investigate cultural bias and construct validity with the Yerkes IQ test and discover the impacts of this study on society. · Cognitive development: We examine different styles of education and classroom layout. We analyse two theories of cognitive development and apply the theories to education. Students write a letter to a Principal of a school outlining good practice for teachers based on developmental psychology. · Media: Students analyse the impact of gender stereotypes, prosocial and antisocial behaviour on society. We conduct a content analysis on a well known movie to discover if movies promote certain values. Students analyse the explanations for why we are obsessed with celebrity and examine the links to stalking behaviours. · Schizophrenia: We look at the definitions of normal and abnormal and analyse the Rosenhan study ‘being sane in insane places’. We take a trip to the Porirua Hospital Museum to look at an old asylum ward and confinement room to bring realism to the study. Students examine the diagnosis Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Schizophrenia using the DSM-5 and analyse the theories to answer the Nature-Nurture debate · Psychology in Aotearoa: The focus of this unit is to analyse the history of psychological practice in Aotearoa, questioning its appropriateness in a bicultural country. Students examine the differences in how language is used between Maori and Pakeha and the implication of language differences. Students analyse theories of Hauora using Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Wha and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We examine the history of health care in New Zealand (including the Tohunga Suppression Act) and apply that to the realities of accessing psychology today. Students investigate NZ mental health statistics statistics and consider the impact of eurocentric diagnostics tools and treatments. Using clinical case studies and research, students develop suggestions for changes in the New Zealand health care system regarding the diagnosis and treatments of mental disorders to become more culturally valid. Finally students examine current NZ research and replicate a key study about earliest memories on students in Tawa College.
School: Nayland College, Nelson Levels taught: Level 2 and 3 NCEA Number of students: Approx 60 at each level Number of teachers: 2 Course Overview: Level 2 Addiction:Students look at differing psychological explanations for addictive behaviours. Approaches include cognitive, behavioural, socio-cultural, psychodynamic and biological perspectives. Memory: We question whether our memories are accurate recollections of events or whether they are fallible. In particular we look at the work of Loftus and Palmer and its relevance to the context of the reliability of eye-witness testimony. Research Methods: A range of research methods are covered including experiments. Students select from several research contexts to conduct their own experiment and write a lab report. Contexts have included memory and eye witness testimony, the 'Stroop test and the 'lemon juice' experiment into the biological basis of extroversion/introversion. Personality: Different approaches to measuring and explaining personality are discussed including the trait / psychometirc approach and the humanist approach. Students investigate their own and each others' personalities using a range of methods (including cake decorating!) Sports and Motivational Psychology: Various motivational techniques are covered and students make a video explaining how they would use theory to motivate a sports team or performer. Level 3 (Our level 3 course is about to undergo and overhaul as new standards will be registered at the end of this year) Psychopathology:Students investigate a mental health issue of their choice and we hear from professionals involved in treating and working with people in clinical and health contexts - such as a clinical psychologist using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and a GP who prescribes medications. Issues in Neuroscience: Brain biology and function are our starting point in this unit. The we focus on contemporary neuroscience research - specifically research done using animals. Students consider issues around using animals in research including ethical concerns and the validity of transferring animal findings to humans. Social Influence: We consider how much our behaviour is influenced by the situation. Conformity and obedience are the central issues covered. Students design and conduct their own research in this context and write up a lab report.