Welcome to Mr. Sommers class! I teach Environmental Science, Introduction to Psychology and IB Psychology. I can be reached via email at Garth.Sommers@dvusd.org. My classes use Canvas. Parents can sign up as observers to monitor class content and their students' progress. I'm always happy to communicate with students and parents and will respond to questions by email, or arrange meetings by phone, on Zoom or in person.
Environmental Science: This course explores the interactions between humans and the natural world. This course is aligned with the Arizona State Science Standards for High School. It will cover standards from all three of the domains of high school science: Physical; Life; Earth and Space. Students will learn about the scientific principles and methods that help us understand the world and address environmental issues, and develop skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration that are essential for scientific literacy and responsible citizenship. Topics covered include basic principles of physics and chemistry, agriculture, ecosystems, biodiversity, populations, urbanization, energy, waste, and climate change.
Introduction to Psychology: There are two versions of this class: an MYP version that IB Students must take before taking the IB Psychology course and a general education elective for non-IB students. Both versions are one semester and cover the same content- the difference being that the MYP version is little more rigorous and conforms to MYP assessment standards. Topics covered include introductions to History and Perspectives; Research Methods; Personality; Development; Cognitive processes; Sociocultural; Health; and Abnormal Psychology.
IB Psychology: This course is part of the IB Program, and culminates in an IB Exam at the end of the year. This course builds on the Introduction to Psychology course and focuses on developing an understanding of the connection between evidence and theory. Students will learn and exercise research methods and statistical analysis by conducting a research experiment as part of a team and writing a research paper. Throughout the course we will critically analyze a range of landmark studies from each of the Biological, Cognitive and Sociocultural Perspectives, and apply those perspectives in the final unit to building a model for understanding Abnormal Psychology.