On-Line for Summer 2020
Teacher: Michael Munson
Cognitive Psychology: The Science of Thinking
Instructor: Michael Munson
Course begins Monday, July 6, 2020 and ends on Friday, August 14, 2020
This course is designed to give students a deep understanding of how human thought processes (cognition) influence our behaviors, emotional experiences, achievements, and sense of well-being. Students will be introduced to the science of cognitive psychology and learn how cognitive science can enhance everyday life.
There is no prerequisite for this course beyond an interest in understanding how the way thinking (which we usually take for granted) exerts a powerful influence on our daily experiences. This influence ranges through our perceptions, expectations, emotional states, judgments, relationships and more. Whether or not students are currently interested in taking AP Psychology in the future, they will be after taking this course. Content is focused on developing student ability to recognize productive vs unproductive habits of thinking based on scientific research. This ability allows very meaningful application to everyday life and will be demonstrated in the final project video created by small groups. Interested students are encouraged to enroll. There is no application required for this course.
Essential Question For This Course: How do cognitive processes influence our daily lives?
This question is used throughout the course and is the topic of the final project on which students will collaborate in small groups. This question will be addressed in each unit of study as they apply the content and concepts they are learning.
The course is primarily asynchronous with a live video conference via Zoom each Monday (time will be determined before the class begins). Live sessions will be approximately one hour and student attendance is required. Assignments will be posted at the beginning of each week and explained during the live class meeting. Daily reminders of assignments will be sent Tuesday through Friday via email or the Remand app.
- computer with high-speed internet access
- Google account for email and document sharing
- Remind (a free text communication app for schools, parents, and teachers) that will allow you to text me with questions, comments, and some assignment submissions.
- Zoom video from https://zoom.us (for the live sessions--you only need the free version)
Units of Study
Unit 1: Development of Cognitive Psychology presents a survey of the development and principles of cognitive psychology and how these principles relate to emotions, well-being, and fulfillment of potential. (2 weeks) Unit Question: What is cognitive science?
Psychology and Cognition
Expression of “Self”
Unit 2: Thinking focuses on habits of thinking, problem solving, and both positive and negative, of habitual thought patterns and how these influence day-to-day experience. (2 weeks) Unit Question: How can cognitive science help us avoid mistakes in thinking?
Thinking processes and habits
Systems of thought
Results of thinking
Unit 3: Cognition and Emotion brings us to the intersection of cognitive science and emotional experience positive psychology and how an understanding of concepts such as attributional style, mindset, grit, and emotional intelligence can foster resilience when facing setbacks, trend people toward more positive emotional experiences, and promote achievement and sense of well-being. (2 weeks) Unit Question: What science-based strategies can promote positive emotions and achievement?
Assignment Policy and Workload:
Students will have 6-8 hours of classwork per week and are expected to complete and submit all assignments on the specific date they are assigned. Extensions are allowed when I am notified in advance of the need for more time. Extensions are also allowed in cases of illness or emergency.
Course Tuition: $300.00
Academic Credit: ½ credit is awarded upon successful completion of this course
Enrollment Limit: 25 students
Grade level Recommendation: Students entering grades 9-12 in the 2020-21 school year
Course Texts and Resources: Will be provided by Mr. Munson as separate pdf documents or incorporated directly into assignments on Schoology.
Weekly Assignments: (Approximately 35% of final grade)
- Written responses based on course content involving comparison of psychological theories and application of content in various scenarios.
- Cause-effect analysis of cognitive principles and applications
- Progress checks points for project development
Multiple-Choice Quizzes: (Approximately 35% of final grade)
Multiple choice questions will ask students to:
- Identify and analyze course concepts
- Interpret text and visual sources
- Apply concepts of cognitive psychology
Final Project: (Approximately 30% of final grade)
Final project video presentation requirements:
- Answer the essential course question by working with a small group to use specific cognitive concepts to explain, with original examples, how cognition
influences our day-to-day lives?
- Thesis/Argument: Presents a clear position in response to the question and develops an argument using the language of cognitive psychology
- Supporting Evidence: Provides and explains relevant and accurate evidence and examples in support of your Thesis/Argument
- Examples: Effectively incorporates original, real-life examples from course content
- Structure: creates a 5-10 minute video or slide presentation that
Instructor Qualifications: Mr. Munson has taught multiple Advanced Placement courses since 1992. His syllabi are AP Audit approved by the College Board in AP United States Government and Politics, AP European History, AP World History, AP United States History and AP Psychology. He teaches AP Psychology every year and a rotating schedule of these other AP courses online from home in Pennsylvania. Over the years his AP students have performed remarkably well as indicated by a collective mean score of 4.07 on AP exams. He is a licensed 7-12 Social Studies teacher in Pennsylvania and Minnesota with BA degrees in history and secondary education from Bemidji State University with over 70 graduate credits in teaching history and psychology. He was AP Psychology Exam Reader 1999-2006, an AP Psychology Table Leader 2007-2015, and a member of the AP Psychology Test Development Committee 2012-2015.
Outside of teaching he spends joyful time with his wife, four daughters and two granddaughters. He also spends much time reading, exercising, and wandering outdoors.
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