Psychology and Sociology


Course Description: The focus of this course is upon the various theories of human behavior, the factors that influence personality development, and the unique nature of early childhood and adolescence. In addition, this course will examine individual differences, human development, and psychological theories and research that guide and influence society's attempt to understand the human condition.

Classroom/Interpersonal Expectations:

1. We will be discussing and studying the human condition and many insights will come from our personal experiences with each other. Openness to the insights of others will be a key tool for you to sharpen your own understanding of individuals (including yourself) and society. For this reason the respect of others and their experiences is imperative. In short a strong class culture will greatly increase your learning and so we MUST hold ourselves to a high standard.

2. Be respectful of the course and the hard work of your teacher! I will work hard to ensure that classes are lively and engaging. That being said you may not always find this to be the case but regardless of your level of interest in a particular day's topic I expect you to be respectful of the learning process. In short be on time prepared to learn with your notebook and assignments.

3. As upper classmen you should be the most mature students in the building. As such I expect that we are able to treat each other like adults. If you have an issue or problems please come and see me to talk about it and I will promise to do the same with you. Avoiding issues (as we will learn in the course) rarely solves them. J

Academic Expectations:

1. It goes without saying that the amount of learning you achieve in this class will be solely determined by the amount of time, effort and reflection you put into the course. Because of this I expect you to go about your work with integrity and honesty.

2. The components of your Term Grades:

a. Tests - Tests will be given at the end of each chapter or upon completion of a major topic of study (roughly 2 or 3 times a term). The dates and format of tests will always be announced about a week ahead of time. Tests will amount to 50% of your term grade.

b. Projects, Papers & Presentations - You will be assigned a variety of Projects, Papers and Presentations this year. Short reflective papers will be the most common and consistent type throughout the year. Each will have its own weight with in the category and this category, as a whole will amount to 25% of your term grade.
Each term this is one major project that will count as a test grade:

Term 1: Psych/Soc. Time Line Project

Term 2: Human Brain Project

Term 3: Social Influences/Attitudes & Beliefs Project

Term 4: "Optional" Project

c. Homework - Homework related to the textbook and other outside readings will be assigned and checked on a regular basis.

d. Notebooks - Each student must keep and maintain a psychology notebook separate from other classes. It may be organized in the following manner:
Section 1: Chronological class notes on lectures, debates and discussions.
Section 2: Homework Assignments in chronological order.
Sections 3: Articles, worksheets, handouts ect.
Section 4: Tests, Papers and written assignments.

3. Makeup Work: If you miss an assignment or class, check our class website (http://mrplasko-psych-soc.wikispaces.com/) and if you have any further questions check in with a classmate or me. If you miss a test/assignment due to an unexcused absence you will not be permitted to make up the work and you will receive a zero on the assignment. Please do not put yourself in a bad situation.
NOTE: Makeup tests must be taken the first day you return to class after an absence and will be taken during that class period.

4. Late Papers, Projects or Presentations completed after the due date will be marked down 10 points for each calendar day it is late. Again please do not put yourself in a bad situation come and speak with me ASAP if you anticipate problems or conflicts. I promise I don't bite. J

Communication:

I ALWAYS prefer face-to-face conversations. As I mentioned before as upperclassmen my expectations for you are higher than for underclassmen. If you have any kind of concern or issue it is my hope that you will first come and respectfully speak with me. I find that 99.9% of the time we can reach a reasonable resolution.

Email - It is a great tool for quick communications (I'm old so I view it in the way you probably view texting). If you find yourself spending more than a minute writing an email to me just come and see me please (room 703C). Please never email me an assignment or work unless I have specifically asked you to. My email address is stephen_plasko@needham.k12.ma.us