Advanced Psychology Class Even Keeps Seniors' Interest

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeffrey Goldstein

The well-documented disease called senioritis may be spreading at Libertyville High School, but a group of 46 seniors seems to be swimming against the tide.

Many second-semester seniors take pride in leaving the building at 3:20 p.m. every day, but these seniors have opted to spend additional time in the classroom.

Every second week, an advanced placement psychology class meets after school on Monday and Tuesday and at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Libertyville High School only offers a one-semester psychology course in its curriculum. This class, which is consistently the most-popular elective among seniors, explores brain physiology, developmental psychology, personality theory, abnormal behavior and therapy, dreams and memory.

The course is geared toward exploring topics in which students are interested, such as dream interpretation.

John Estep and Larry Williams teach five classes each semester, which means that about half of the senior class registers to take a psychology class.

A highlight of Estep's class is the abnormal psychology unit. To help students learn more about abnormal psychology, Estep describes behaviors such as phobias, amnesia, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia in detail during the unit.

The unit test is a lab practical in which Estep acts out behaviors and students must identify and treat them. These acts can include any student in the class.

"Sometimes it is scary to sit in the front row," said senior Debbie Froemke, who experienced the effects of knowing a person with multiple personality disorder. …