Introductory Psychology – Year-long Course


    “I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much my daughter is enjoying your class. She spent a good half an hour the other day imparting all that she had learned from the readings. We had such a good conversation, and it was wonderful to see her so enthusiastic about schoolwork. Thank you for all of your hard work!” ~Parent, Nichole F.


    Class Full

    Two heads with wave between for the Introductory Psychology course at Athena's Advanced Academy
    InstructorDr. Jessica Koehler
    Content LevelsGrades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Grades 11-12 • Upper High School
    Course Length32 Weeks - Year-long
    Live Webinars Held OnThursdays, 9:00 - 9:50 AM Pacific – 8/17/23 - 5/18/24
    • Have you ever wondered why your dog salivates at the sound of a can opener?
    • Is it possible to improve your memory?
    • What is the best way to study for a test?
    • Do opposites really attract?
    • Is there safety in numbers?

    This class will help you to answer these and many other intriguing questions about human and animal behavior!

    Introductory Psychology will introduce students to the systematic study of the behavior and mental processes of humans and other animals, with an emphasis on facilitating an appreciation for the science of psychology. Students will be exposed to psychological principles and phenomena associated with the major fields of psychology. Students will also learn about the methods psychologists use in their science and practice.

    Major Course Objectives:

    • Students will become familiar with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology.
    • Students will be able to describe fundamental ideas and research findings from each of the fourteen sub-disciplines listed below.
    • Students will develop an understanding of the research methods used in psychological research and use this understanding to think critically about psychological issues and research encountered in both the scientific literature and the mass media.


    • “Just wanted to drop a quick note to tell you that my son is LOVING this class. Thank you for teaching it – it is probably one of his all-time favorites. We have been such fans of Kirsten that I was a little nervous to step out of our comfort zone, but this class is right up there with History for Whovians – and that’s saying A LOT! Again, thanks for all you do.In the three years that he has been homeschooled, Intro to Psychology is one of my son’s favorite classes. It is the class I never have to remind him to finish work for – he LOVES every bit of it and wants to do as much as he can to prepare. The subject matter is fascinating to him and even after just one semester, he is finding ways to apply what he’s learning in class to the world around him. As a homeschooling mom, that is the exact outcome I want for every subject he learns! Thank you for the depth of knowledge you bring to the subject and your willingness to share your experience in the field in a way that is engaging and meaningful.” ~Parent, Lili H.

    Note to parents:

    • “My philosophy regarding the teaching of Introductory Psychology is to facilitate an appreciation for the science of psychology and to foster critical thinking about psychological theories of human behavior, cognition, and emotion. The ultimate goal is to create a “rippling effect” to encourage students to reflect upon their learning and utilize it to enhance their lives educationally and personally. ” ~ Dr. Jessica
    • While every effort is made to steer away from mature topics, due to the discussion-based nature of the class and the subjects encountered within the field of psychology, some topics may be brought up by students that require a certain level of maturation. If you feel you may need more information to help determine whether this course is right for your child, please contact the instructor,
      Dr. Jessica.

    What to expect in the classroom each week:

    • Readings assigned from Myers’ Psychology for the AP Course textbook. Approximately 10-25 pages a week.
    • Completion of assigned projects, activities, and unit tests in the classroom as indicated in AP Psychology Syllabus.

    What to expect during the weekly webinars:

    • During the live webinar, the instructor will present concepts, ideas, and theoretical perspectives relevant to each weekly topic related to one of the 14 units of study. Every effort will be made to make the live webinars as interactive as possible, with experimental simulations, short videos, games, and online real-time surveys/questionnaires. Students will be expected to attend the webinar sessions each week and to participate appropriately via voice and chat functions within the webinar room.
    • Office Hours: Schedule by appointment.
    • All online webinar sessions and office hours will be recorded and available for students to review following the sessions.
    What to expect during the school year:

    Fall semester

    • Unit I: Psychology’s History and Approaches
    • Unit II: Research Methods: Thinking Critically With Psychological Science
    • Unit III: Biological Basis of Behavior
    • Unit IV: Sensation and Perception
    • Unit V: Consciousness and the Two-Track Mind
    • Unit VI: Learning
    • Unit VII: Cognition

    Spring semester

    • Unit VIII: Motivation, Emotion, and Stress
    • Unit IX: Developmental Psychology
    • Unit X: Personality
    • Unit XI: Testing and Individual Differences
    • Unit XII: Abnormal Behavior
    • Unit XIII: Treatment of Abnormal Behavior
    • Unit XIV: Social Psychology

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read non-fiction at a strong 9th-grade level or above.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    Required books & materials:

    • Myers, D. G., & Dewall, C. N. (2018). M​yers’ Psychology for the AP​® Course​. (3rd Ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
      Rental or electronic versions are available for a lower price.