IB Psychology

Themantic Education's resources for the new syllabus, by Travis Dixon.

Themantic Units

At ThemEd we don’t recommend teaching the IB Psychology course by distinguishing the levels of analysis from one another, or from the options. We recommend integrating the options with the core, as well as focusing on the interactions of the three approaches within these units. This is why we end up with units called:

  • Criminology
  • Social Influence
  • PTSD
  • Love and Marriage

You can find complete teacher support packs in our online store right here!

Themantic Education’s textbook for the new course, IB Psychology: A Student’s Guide provides a topic-by-topic, lesson-by-lesson guide through the requirements of the new course. But it has a twist: the order of the topics have been rearranged so they make more sense conceptually. That’s it!

You might be thinking that I’ve misspelled “thematic” teaching. But the term themantic is one we’ve invented to describe our new curriculum model. There are many components to the model, starting at the micro level with theories of how we learn and applications in lesson structure, all the way to our model of developing conceptual understanding and how this frames unit plans. It’s all based on the notion of building blocks and relationship chains.

So instead of teaching the Biological Approach as a unit, you can teach Criminology and hit the same learning outcomes, as well as some from the Cognitive and Sociocultural Approaches as well. Or instead of teaching about prejudice twice: once when discussing SIT and again in the Human Relationships option, these topics are taught during the same unit (Social Influence).

This results in a more enjoyable course, reduced content and increased understanding. This blog provides easily navigation for teachers to find resources to support the themantic model, as well as the linear one.

Our unit plans are also designed following the C.H.A.C.E.R lesson structure, because it just kind of makes sense.

2 thoughts on “Themantic Units

  1. Hi,

    Do you teach all of the research aspects of the course within your units as well or is it a separate unit?




    1. Hi Chelsea,

      Research methods are introduced very briefly at the start of the course, and then I have a unit called “Quantitative Methods” (Chapter 6 of the textbook) that teachers about all quant methods, with the idea of prepping kids for the IA as well as the external exam questions on this topic. I find it best to teach as a standalone unit and also best to teach mid-way through the course when they have a lot of knowledge of studies to draw on. In the next couple of weeks we’ll be releasing our teacher support pack for the quantitative methods chapter, so we’ll be posting previews very soon.


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