About this Course
Psychology is the academic and applied study of the human mind and behavior. Perhaps there are no more salient topics in the information age and the global economy than a comprehensive understanding of how learning takes place and what predicts and determines human behavior. The course is a primer, meant to provide substantive content through which to understand the human condition and to inspire students to continue their learning and growth.
Students interested in the study of psychology are interested in why people do, say and think what they do. They have questions about how learning takes place, how genetics dictate certain traits but not others, how memories are formed, where to draw the line between normality and disorder, whether a damaged brain can regain function and the predictors of addiction.
Through this introductory course, students will have the opportunity to understand the science of psychology and how psychologists measure mental function and behavior and how the results are reported. They will better understand perception and consciousness and the mysteries of sleep and dreams. Through child development, they will understand how the brain is ready for learning and pre-wired for language. Motivation, cognition and personality will be analyzed through the lens of past and current psychological thought. Students will understand the statistical reality of the normal distribution and how that is relevant to most traits. They will review new research on the plasticity of the brain and consider whether intelligence is fixed or flexible. Lastly, the array of disorders and dysfunction will be analyzed and discussed and the line between normal and abnormal will be considered.
Jeneen Graham has been the Academic Dean at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School since the summer of 2012. Prior to her arrival at St. Margaret’s, she was the Assistant Director of the Center for Research on Cognition and Learning at the University of California, Irvine. She was also a Lecturer in the School of Education and taught classes to graduate and undergraduate students on the psychology of cognition and learning. Dr. Graham holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology with a minor in Spanish from Dartmouth College and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Administration from the University of California, Irvine and the University of California, Los Angeles. Her dissertation was entitled, “Elements of Human Effectiveness: Intelligences, Traits and Abilities that Lead to Success and Fulfillment in Life.
Jeremy Dailey is a Middle School Math teacher and the Varsity Volleyball coach at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. Jeremy has been teaching math and health as well as coaching for 14 years. He has also taught a course called the Dynamics of Decision Making at Webster University and has been a supervisor for first year graduate students at Vanguard University. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and a M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Vanguard University.
Amanda Compton is the Administrative Assistant to the Academic Dean at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. She holds a degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Irvine.
Teomara (Teya) Rutherford is a doctoral candidate in Education at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on the cognitive and motivational factors that influence student success and how interventions, especially those using digital technologies, can improve these skills and subsequent learning. Teya has recently accepted a position as an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at North Carolina State University.
Tait Lihme is the Director of Extension Programs at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School. He has previously served as the Instructional Technologies and Resources Coach, the 21st Century Learning Coordinator, English and Theater Teacher, and a middle school administrator. He earned his teaching credential in English from University of California, Los Angeles, an M.S. in Educational Administration from National University, and a B.A. in Communication from Masters College.
This course is recommended for secondary school students in grades 11 and 12.