• Mr. Doug Kirchner

     Social Studies Curriculum Leader/Teacher
    Hello! Thanks for taking an interest in my homepage. I began teaching at USCHS in 2004. Since arriving here, I have taught all levels of Psychology courses. In 2009, I became Curriculum Leader of the Social Studies Department.

    I hold a bachelor's degree from Duquesne University and a master's degree in School Leadership from the University of Pittsburgh. I am also certified as a K-12 principal and supervisor of curriculum/instruction. My wife (who is also a teacher) and I have two children, Nolan and Clara.

    I have a deep passion for teaching and learning. Since I can remember, I have wanted to know more. I get excited about learning, and my primary goal as a teacher is to pass on this excitement to others. As both a teacher and lifelong student of psychology, I am fascinated by behavior in all its forms (human and non-human, normal and abnormal, overt and covert). Psychology is a subject that relates to all of us. If you take a Psychology course with me, you will have the chance to learn more about yourself, your friends and family, and humans in general. You'll begin to explore questions such as: "Who am I?", "How did I become this way?", and "What makes us tick?" Psychology is one of the strangest, yet most fascinating courses you'll ever take!

    Phone: 412-833-1600 ext. 2649 Email: dkirchner@uscsd.k12.pa.us

    Courses Taught: 

    AP Psychology: The goal of this course is to increase the student's understanding of psychology, including its research methods, body of knowledge and perspectives, with the objective of having each student pass the Advanced Placement Examination. The course will explore the psychological facts, principles, and phenomena associated with each of the major subdivisions within the discipline.

    This course is taught at the collegiate level and the student's study habits and participation should reflect this fact. It is hoped that knowledge of psychological inquiry will provide students with a way of perceiving aspects of the world, insights into their own behavior and the behavior of others, and an appreciation of the complexity and diversity of human behavior.

    IB Psychology: The course of study for IB Psychology focuses on the systematic study of human behavior and the mental and experiential factors that influence behavior. Students will develop an understanding of the historical roots of psychology as well as an appreciation for the diversity of the human experience. Through the study of three levels of analysis (biological, cognitive, and sociocultural) students will focus on the skills of critical thinking and the methods of empirical investigation that are the hallmarks of psychology. Attention will be given to ethical procedures and issues throughout the course. The exploration of human behavior will also consider the opportunity for psychology to improve the human condition. The Standard Level IB curriculum will provide students the opportunity to understand optional subject areas in depth and perform an experimental replication, as per the requirements of the Internal Assessment. Students will complete the IB Examination at the end of the year.

    Psychology: Psychology is a one-semester, academic course designed to introduce students to the field of Psychology. By the end of the course, students should be able to answer the following essential questions:

    1. What causes humans to behave and think as they do?
    2. How do “nature” and “nurture” interact to shape behavior?
    3. How do different psychological perspectives contribute to our understanding of behavior?