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Student News Site of Ruben S. Ayala High School

Bulldog Times

So you want to take…AP Psychology?

Elisabeth Lee
Taught by Ms. Jennifer Puente and Ms. Christy Koenig, AP Psychology offers a broad spectrum of material that students can learn regarding the human mind and behavior that will really make you marvel at the wonders of psychology.

Have you ever wondered how thoughts are formed, memories are stored, dreams are made, and behaviors are learned? How does the brain catalog everything we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch? How does it do it all? With these questions and so much more in mind, AP Psychology strives to answer the myriad of questions that formulate regarding the wonders of the mind and human behavior. 

Taught by Ms. Jennifer Puente and Ms. Christy Koenig, students get to dive deep into the behaviors and mental processes in humans. The course is divided into nine main units, all taught throughout the year, and makes you genuinely wonder about all the fascinating processes of the mind.

“The quality of students I get is amazing and it’s just a class where I get to teach about people and why we think and do the things we do,” AP Psychology teacher Ms. Jennifer Puente said. 

With a vast array of subjects pertaining to the human mind and behavior, AP Psychology teaches students about the biology of the brain, developmental stages of human life, memory and perception, clinical, and so much more. 

The foundation of AP Psychology’s curriculum relies on five main perspectives: 

  1. Psychodynamic (unconscious mind and childhood experiences)
  2. Cognitive (internal processes of the mind: memory, language, and perception)
  3. Behavioral (observable and learned behaviors)
  4. Humanistic (human capacity of choice and growth)
  5. Biological (brain, body, and genetics)

With these perspectives, students can then analyze certain behaviors and create a bigger picture from the small, intricate details that are almost invisible to the eye.

“AP Psych has introduced me to all sorts of psychological perspectives and how to interpret different social behaviors,” Naomi Meehan (11) said.

AP Psych has introduced me to all sorts of psychological perspectives and how to interpret different social behaviors.

— Naomi Meehan (11)

AP Psychology is a memorization based class, as it introduces many new terms and definitions that pertain to the material learned in each unit. Although the course has over 400 terms to remember, there are many tips and tricks that Ms. Puente and Ms. Koenig use to help students remember the information.

“Through mnemonic devices and examples provided, I can better understand the overall terms,” Micah Luck (12) said.

With its extensive material and rich knowledge, the course challenges students to use what they have learned and apply it to different hypothetical situations during the exam. Still, AP Psychology sufficiently prepares students for the exam as 59.6% of students in 2023 earned a 3 or higher. 

Unlike other AP classes, the material that AP Psychology teaches isn’t just for students to get a good grade in the class or the AP exam, but it’s knowledge that students can take. Knowledge that they can store in their minds and knowledge that they can apply to their lives.

“I hope that I could teach a gazillion sections of AP Psychology because, even if they didn’t get the best grade, I know that everyone came out of there learning something and the class made an impact on them in some way,” Puente said.

The nature of the class is relaxed, as there are many activities that both Ms. Puente and Ms. Koenig have students participate in, for better understanding of the subject. This active learning helps students ingrain the material into their minds more efficiently.

Ms. Christy Koenig, pictured here, teaches AP Psychology in her 1st, 3rd, and 5th periods. (Elisabeth Lee)

“Honestly, it’s the class I have the most fun in and I’ve reached an understanding and love for [psychology] that I’d love to spread the knowledge to people who don’t know much about it,” Meehan said.

Since psychology is a social science, the material learned throughout the class is useful not only in independent situations, but also in social situations. As students learn the material, they can connect it to real life situations and revel in the wonder that psychology is behind every instance.

“If you’re thinking about taking AP Psychology, know that it’s something you won’t regret. It’s something that you’ll learn everyday,” Luck said. “You’re constantly learning something new, not just the mind, but human behavior as well.”

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About the Contributors
Stephanie Lyn, Open Canvas Manager
Stephanie Lyn (11) is a reporter for The Bulldog Times, and this is her 1st year on staff. Stephanie hopes to grow as a writer in the elements of journalism and gain new experience. She looks forward to seeing how Journalism grows as editors and new staff work together to write new articles and improve as a collective body. In addition to being a writer, she is also an officer of Christian Club. She is a Christian and puts her identity in Christ, reflecting His love towards others. In her free time, she loves creative writing, reading, and listening to music–particularly Taylor Swift, and hanging out with friends and family.
Elisabeth Lee, Visual Editor
Elisabeth Lee (10) is a second year member and visual editor of The Bulldog Times who looks forward to expanding her knowledge in journalism and using her skills of writing and digital art to bring recognition to people and places on campus and in the community. Outside of journalism, Elisabeth is an avid golfer who is always ready to improve, social manager of the Outreach for Christ Club, and treasurer of Foster Love. In her free time, you can nd her practicing calligraphy, reading books, brainstorming her plans for the future, or rening her golf swing. Elisabeth’s favorite parts of Ayala are the many opportunities for involvement and growth which she hopes to take advantage of throughout her high school career.
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