Teaching Psychology in Academic Gymnasium of St. Petersburg State University

Kapustina, Alexandra
Khvostichenko, Tatiana
Iouralovitchioute, Lilia
Academic Gymnasium of St. Petersburg State University,

Academic Gymnasium of St. Petersburg State University (AG) is a special high school for talented adolescents. School students study there for last three years of secondary school education (9th, 10th and 11th grade). They can specialise in one of the following fields: mathematics and physics, natural studies, or humanitarian science. Psychology is a part of the AG curriculum during all the three years. Ten-year experience of the AG psychologists led to creation of the unique educational programme of teaching psychology to high school students.

The main goals of the programme are:

  • Informing.
  • Diagnostics.
  • Correction.

The programme takes three years and includes the following parts:

  • "cognize yourself"- the 9th and 10th grades. Basic knowledge of mental processes and human individual peculiarities.
  • "cognize others" - the10th grade. Introduction to the main personality theories, both Russian and foreign.
  • "learn to be competent communicator " - the11th grade. Introduction to social psychology.

The level and the volume of the information is adapted to the school students' age and is illustrated by interesting examples.

The classes in the 9th and 10th grades consist of two conventional parts, theoretical and practical. The practical part involves various creative, analytical and projectional tasks when the students have to apply their knowledge of psychology. The aim of the programme in the 11th grade is development of communication skills. Every lesson includes introduction on the selected topic, different games and active tasks. The classes are very popular with the students. It is indicated by the number of research on psychology conducted by the students and the increasing number of the AG students choosing to specialize in psychology in their future studies (BSc, MSc).