Online for the 2023-2024 School Year
Teacher: Bonnie Gonzalez
Application: Link for the Application
Text required: Psychology for the AP Second Edition, by David Myers
(I would suggest buying a used textbook)
Class fees: $650.00 after June 30th. Early bird special, $625.00 if tuition is paid by June 30th. Cost of the required text is additional.
Class Description: This is a highly interactive class which will fully prepare students to take the AP Psychology exam in May (for the past 14 years 85% of my students have earned either a 4 or 5 on the exam).
Through a study of the topics of neuroscience, development, sensation and perception, learning, memory, positive psychology, intelligence, motivation, emotion, personality, psychological disorders, and treatment of psychological disorders, students will learn about both historical and contemporary perspectives in the field of psychology. Since my experience is highly weighted in the field of psychological disorders, and the treatment of those disorders, we will be giving special attention to these areas in our class assignments and online discussions.
In addition to the text, outside reading from a variety of sources (websites, peer-reviewed journal articles and books) will be required. Students will be given a supportive, yet challenging learning environment with many opportunities to enhance their understanding of psychological concepts.
The format of this class includes participation in two live components per week– a one-hour live lecture where the instructor will present concepts which are covered in corresponding chapters; and a live chat time, also an hour per week, where students will see psychology in action through website, interactive presentations, and videos of classic and current psychological studies. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the instructor during both live sessions and discussion is encourage. Both live components are presented through the Zoom platform which is easily accessible. Although both of these live components will be available throughout the year for downloading, students are strongly encouraged to participate in the actual live sessions. Both the live lecture and chat days and times are decided during orientation week in August. Various times are offered for these live components, and I make every effort to accommodate the lecture and chat times to my student's schedules.
Special Project Opportunity: Students will be encouraged to participate in the APA Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS) essay competition for high school students. During the past several school years 5 of my students, who were the first and only home school students to participate in this contest, were winners. Each student was awarded a monetary prize and was featured on the APA website. You can access the winning essays/videos at this website: projectshttps://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/topss/student-competition?tab=5
Class requirements - Students will be required to take bi-weekly chapter tests with free response essays which are similar to the AP Psychology essay. In addition weekly assignments are required which are designed to help students see how the concepts are related to real behavior. Some of these assignment include, completing sample psychological tests, designing an intelligence test, performing both classical and operant conditioning experiments, and building a virtual brain and neuron. In addition, a new feature of the class includes several optional self-improvement assignments designed to help the students improve their motivation.
A final project of designing and implementing a research study using class participants will further assist the student in learning how research is done in the field of psychology. Using the experimental method the student will learn to develop a survey, understand the basics of experimental and correlational research, use simple descriptive statistics, and complete an experimental write-up of their project. This independent research is one of the distinctions of this class and students frequently report that this was their favorite part of the class. (Many of my students use statistics to analyze the data obtained during this project. A good class to take, either before or in conjunction with this class, would be AP Statistics. (AP Statistics is NOT a requirement for AP Psychology)
Students in AP Psychology will also be encouraged to participate on our Discussion Threads to discuss psychological concepts in the world around them. Reviews of news articles, books and websites are often a part of these discussions. Using the discussion board, students can also link to videos and websites with practice tests, power point presentations, and flashcards for a review of the concepts to prepare for the AP exam as well as communicate with other students about projects and group assignments.
In addition to the many forms of communication which occur in this class, I also I send out a weekly Monday emails and an occasional late week email, which includes study tips, review ideas, further explanations of concepts, optional extra credit assignments, and more. These emails also serve as reminders for chats and lecture times as well as helping to motivate the students in this class.
My virtual office door is always open. Students can communicate with me via email, or through the discussion board, and I attempt to answer all email communication on the day I receive it (there are some exceptions to this, but they are infrequent). I encourage students to share information about the topics which they are learning and ask questions in order to improve their understanding.
Start Date: Thursday, August 24, 2023-- with submission of a Critical Book Review. This early start date includes an orientation live lecture to introduce the class, the website and the Zoom platform.
End Date: First week of May 2024 (this end date allows for two intensive weeks of class review for the AP exam), when students take their AP Psychology exam in 2024. Extension for late work is offered until May 31, 2024
Who Should Apply: This class is for high school students who are looking for an interactive class, and are interested in learning about behavior. This is not an easy class, and each student must be willing to put in the required time. Qualified students will spend about 6 – 10 hours per week on this class. This accounts for reading the assigned texts, answering multiple-choice questions, writing essays, discussing class work and participating in the weekly online chat and live lecture. Students will also be asked to submit a personal essay describing their goals for taking part in the class. In addition, the student should be ready to take part actively in the class through regular discussion on the website and participation in the live lectures and chats. An audit option is available for students ($250 for the year), with the option of joining the class at a later time.
Note: this course is open to 10th, 11th and 12th graders. I occasionally admit 9th graders who present exceptional credentials.
Instructor Qualifications - This is my 15th year teaching this online AP Psychology class with homeschool students. I have also taught Introductory Psychology and Developmental Psychology at local community colleges. This AP class is audit approved by the College Board, and 85% of my students have earned a score of 4 or 5 on the AP exam. My teaching experience has also included classes for high school students on the topics of Grit, Self-Control, Positive Psychology and Time Management. I have also developed online seminars for healthcare providers on the topics of stress, communication, job burn-out, anger assessment and management, and setting boundaries. I have 39 years of experience as a counselor in the field of individual, marriage and family counseling where I have had the opportunity to instruct individuals in developing new and more productive behaviors. I have also earned over 150 hours in post-graduate continuing education class in various topics in psychology and counseling. My degrees include an M.ED. in Counseling Psychology and a B.A in Psychology, both received from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. I home-schooled my own three children and spent 8 years teaching in a home-school co-op.