First year psychology 2015 - 2016

The International School of Prague

Course guidelines

Psychology I

2015 – 2016

Text:  IB Psychology: A Course Companion by Crane & Hannibal

Things for you to know as a new psychology student

  1. More than anything else, it is important that you manage your time well. Although there may be fewer assignments, the ones that are assessed have a greater impact on your grade. Waiting until the last minute to begin an assessment increases stress, decreases health and often decreases performance.
  2. There is a lot of “optional reading.”  I encourage you to “read beyond the homework.”  The more you read, the more you know. However, this should not be at the expense of other coursework.
  3. It all seems self-evident, until the test.  You must be able to cite RESEARCH and use appropriate vocabulary in order to obtain high marks in psychology.  If you are struggling with memorization strategies, it is important to seek help early in the year.
  4. The IB Psychology exam is an essay-based assessment.  Therefore, we will be doing a lot of writing this year.  Assessments include: written exams, quizzes, Socratic Seminars, presentations, and take-home essays. Quizzes may occur after any reading assignment.
  5. Late work is a problem for you and for me. Please hand in all assignments during class.  If you hand it in at the end of the day, it is late.  Please do not email assignments to me unless you have first received permission. This will only be allowed in very special circumstances.
  6. Please make sure that you have a notebook.  You may choose to take your notes and computerize them, but during class presentations, all laptops will be closed. It is important to have a good system of note-keeping.  Remember, next May you will have to review two years of psychology. There is no way that I can design a “two-year review sheet.” It is up to you.  We will be discussing ways to organize yourself over the next two years.
  7. It is of utmost importance that we stay “on task.”  This means that personal philosophizing or unnecessary argument will be “cut off.” It is also important that you remain open to ideas; Intolerance will not be tolerated…
  8. You may wish to ask for assistance via email. I check my email regularly and promise to answer your questions immediately.  The latest I usually check is 10 p.m. and earliest is usually 6 am.  Contact me at:

Finally, and most importantly, I would like to welcome you to the world of psychology.  I find it one of the most exciting areas of modern-day research.  It is something that I hope you will see is practical on many levels – and it continues to inspire and impress.