PS390 Selected Topics in Psychology:

for FA 2009

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PS 390 Selected Topics in Psychology:


FA 2009 HO


Wood, Jane, Cowley, Brian


Associate Professor, English/Associate Professor, Psychology


Ph.D, English/Ph.D. Developmental and Child Psychology

Office Location

Wood: Copley 209/ Cowley: MA 225B

Office Hours

By appointment

Daytime Phone

Wood: 816.584.6480/ Cowley: 816.584.6501


Web Page

Semester Dates

Fall 2009

Class Days


Class Time

2:25 - 3:40 PM

Credit Hours



Man’s Search for Meaning—Victor Frankl—9780807014295

The Lucifer Effect: How Good People Turn Evil—Phillip Zimbardo—0812974447

The Hiding Place—Corrie Ten Boom—0800794052

Night—Elie Wiesel—0374500010

Dachau: The Harrowing of Hell—Marcus J. Smith—0791425268

Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust—Eva Fogelman--0385420285

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Course Description:
PS 390 Selected Topics in Psychology: Intensive study of an area of psychology selected by the instructor on the basis of student need or current interest. Variable credit: 1-3 hours. Prerequisite: PS 101 or permission of the instructor.

Educational Philosophy:

My educational philosophy is based on bringing the student to the table for critical thinking. A variety of teaching methods are employed according to the learning objectives and the available environmental setting. Students will be required to engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate topics about the history of psychology.

I will ask you to entertain the notion that reading and discussing literature matters. Indeed, I believe that who we choose to become as individuals and as a collective community springs directly from our ability to understand and make sense of the complexity of personal and collective life. Literature allows us to contemplate ways, as James Baldwin so eloquently writes, “to impose order on the void.” Read well, think and write wisely, discuss your interpretations as if the world depends upon your thoughts and ideas. For, indeed, I believe that it does.
Also consider these wise words from Kurt Vonnegut:
"Practicing an art no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something." --from A Man Without a Country

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an increased understanding of the complexity of the Shoah
  2. Create a project that showcases their intellectual interaction with the textual readings/films
  3. Apply critical thinking skills to today's society issues about genocide
Class Assessment:
All Park University courses will include a Core Assessment with rubric. This will include ¾ of the Core Learning Outcomes listed above. The Core Assessment in this course will be a major critical paper of no fewer than 5 pages, which will include research and APA documentation. The project will be completed in the final quarter of the term.
Course Projects, Read/Reflection Journal, Weekly Quizzes,Final 


  • Course Project (creation of websites, literary paper, exploration paper etc.) 25%
  • Read/Reflection Journal 25%
  • Weekly Quizzes 25%
  • Final 25%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Any assignment turned in after the date it is due can be given up to half credit for that assignment. No course materials will be accepted after the last class meeting.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • Attend class and be prompt. Roll will be checked during each class period. It is your responsibility to make up anything missed in class and that your scheduled assignments are submitted on time.
  • Be prepared for class. This means that you have read the assigned readings and are prepared to discuss them. This course will consist of class discussion, small group discussion, service learning, lecture, and outside of class experiences. You are expected to take part in the discussions and group work. Also, assigned readings will not always be reviewed in class, but examinations will be from both assigned readings and class discussions.  No cell phone, I-Phones or any activity that disrupts the class.
  • Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive. Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems. Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash. Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology. Be sure to save copies of your work to a CD, a hard drive, or flash drive and print out paper copies for backup purposes.
  • The student is expected to have a copy of all written assignments on computer disk, flash drive, or in a hard copy form. You will also be expected to retain all graded and returned assignments and examinations.
    No cell phone, I-Phones or any activity that disrupts the class.
  • Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

    Week 1            Introduction to the Course

    Week 2            Zimbardo

    Week 3            Zimbardo

    Week 4            Night

    Week 5            Night

    Week 6            Dachau: The Harrowing of Hell

    Week 7            Dachau: The Harrowing of Hell

    Week 8            Travel in Munich

    Week 9            Frankl

    Week 10          Frankl

    Week 11          Conscience and Courage

    Week 12          Conscience and Courage

    Week 13          The Hiding Place

    Week 14          The Hiding Place

    Week 15          Presentation of Projects

    Week 16          Presentation of Projects

    Academic Honesty:
    Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

    Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

    Attendance Policy:
    Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

    1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
    2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
    3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
    4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
    5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
    6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

    Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

    Disability Guidelines:
    Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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    Last Updated:8/15/2009 2:55:49 PM