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Psychology Class Can Sometimes Serve as a Case Study in You

Students in every degree program funnel into Jenny Heilborn’s Psychology 101 and Sociology 101 classes.

Many students may wonder how the emotions based studies will serve them in a technology driven world. Heilborn said understanding both yourself and others is a key component of understanding how the world works.

“I think for most students, especially those going into the human services field, it is a good idea to understand not just ourselves but where other people are coming from,” she said. “Try to think about the class in terms of how what we discuss relates to our community and society at large. It is a good thing to have.”

 The difference between the two courses of study is that psychology focuses more on the person as a whole while sociology delves into how we relate to the community in larger sphere. Heilborn said there is a lot of overlap between the two subjects.

 Students will spend some time looking back on their own histories and exploring their own thoughts and behaviors. Heilborn said while genetics shape much of our individuality so does the environment we were raised in. That is where students spend much of their time.

“The students like reflecting on their own personal experiences, so that’s pretty neat,” she said.  
“Your development and how it shapes you as a person, they like studying that more than the genetics part.”

Heilborn said the class includes a lot of reflecting and writing and no usually no team projects. Instead she presents a theory and students apply its components to their life.

Discussions are an important part of the coursework, and what Heilborn said students enjoy the most.

“I think it gives students an opportunity to get to know themselves and others,” she said.

For those who are shy about revealing personal information, Heilborn said students are not required to share about their personal experience or even use their personal experiences in the classwork. They can also opt to use case studies to apply the various theories.

“Most students want to share, a lot,” she said. “Occasionally a student will say it’s too hard to share something and that’s ok. The grade is never based on what they want to divulge.”


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