Curriculum: A thematic approach
A final way to teach the course is to create your own units using the IB curriculum guide to determine what content must be taught.
This method allows each unit to feel much more focused and consistently asks students to apply knowledge and theory. It also, however, takes some consideration as to when and how you will introduce conceptual understandings.
There are advantages and disadvantages to every approach, but this one is the least transparent in terms of the IB assessment at the end of the course. Therefore, you will see that there is a lot more time for revision at the end of the course than in the other two approaches.
Sample thematic planner
I have never taught this scheme of work, so you may choose to change the order in which it is taught.
|How do we study human behaviour?||An introduction to psychology and research methods. Primary focus on experiments||Five weeks: August – end of September|
|The refugee experience||An intro to sociocultural approach. Social identity, social cognitive learning theory, stereotyping, acculturation and enculturation and cultural difference.||Ten weeks: October - December|
|Globalization (HL)||A look at the effects of globalization on identity, attitudes and behaviour.||Three weeks: December/January|
|Criminology||A look at eyewitness testimony and its role in criminal cases. Models of memory, the effect of emotion on memory; reconstructive memory and schema theory.||Ten weeks: January – March|
|Consumerism (HL)||Decision making. Followed by HL cognitive extension.||April - May|
|Internal assessment||Use class time to complete the IA.||Three weeks: August – September|
|Depression||Origins of the disorder (neurotransmitters, hormones, genetics, plasticity). Treatments (HL only).||Ten weeks: September - November|
|Qualitative research methods||Time to discuss key conceptual understandings in qualitative research and begin practice papers for Paper 3.||Two weeks: December|
|The perfect couple||Helping behaviour and interpersonal relationships. Biological focus on oxytocin (hormone), neurotransmission in love relationships and pheromones. HL: animal models for understanding human behaviour.||Ten weeks: January – March|
|Revision||Time to revise/review for May exams.||Four weeks: March - April|
Evaluation of a thematic approach
An integrative approach which allows for student-centred content.
Fewer “units” to manage
Takes a more integrative approach.