The Apache Pow Wow

Should Psychology Be Required in Curriculum?

Rebecca Tao, Staff Writer

Psychology is the study of the mind and human behaviors. Knowing how to read others easily and figuring out how to approach someone and converse with them are very useful skills that are also necessary later on in life. This leads to the question if those skills should be developed early on in school. Should psychology become a required course in our curriculum and what is the impact of taking the class?

The study of psychology has many branches including human development, sports, health, clinical, social behavior, and cognitive processes. The scientific study was founded by Wilhelm Wundt and pioneered by other significant figures like Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, and William James, the first educator to propose psychology as an educational course. While Psychology is offered as a course at AHS for juniors and seniors under the social science department, it is not  a required course. The description for the class is summarized as a course that narrows in on careers in psychology and the study in many different areas of psychology like disorders and therapy.

Of the most popular college majors, psychology places in the top ten. However, 31% of students transfer out of their original social science major to a different major, according to the U.S. Department of Education. By requiring psychology as a class—either as a semester or year-long course—students are presented with the ability to make better decisions on their path of higher education. This would also reduce the percentage of social science major transfers and may possibly boost the popularity of psychology careers if students take an early interest in the study. Moving forward, having background knowledge in psychology can also benefit students who want to enter jobs that require customer service or regular social interactions. If, in an interview for a job, possessing strong communication skills can put your application before someone with the same credentials.

Freshman Alex Fang agrees with the notion that requiring psychology as a high school class can be extremely helpful if one enters a social situation, but freshman Sala Yu disagrees. Sala proposes how “students should have the choice to choose whether or not if they want to take it.” However, this raises the question if certain classes should be required at all. At AHS, students are already required to take English for four years and meet other graduation requirements in order to receive a high school diploma. If this is already the case, what harm is done if psychology is also included in the requirements?

Psychology teacher Ms. Brown said, “I think psychology is a valuable course for students. I am really glad that we offer this course at our school. I’ve taught psychology for several years now, and time and time again I have students tell me that they never expected to learn so much about themselves and about people in general. We explore relevant topics in our course, such as mind body connection, stress, sleep, emotions, language, as well as mental health issues in our society. I do think that at some point in a student’s academic career, a psychology course would be very worthwhile.”

Therefore, like English and History, Psychology should be required in our curriculum. This study teaches students critical lessons about the social world they are surrounded by and how to interact with people. Overall, Psychology should be required in our curriculum, as having knowledge in the field will help students in college and their future careers.

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Should Psychology Be Required in Curriculum?