Most students attending college will enroll in an Introduction to Psychology course highlighting human behavior, learning, memory, and other topics. However, students attending Gordon State College at McDonough leave with much more than just an introduction to the subject.
In Derek Marchman’s Introduction to Psychology class, students leave with not only an introduction to the subject but valuable connections and insight into their motivations and behavior. The objective of his course is not only to introduce psychology to students but to help students reach their full potential by understanding their intrinsic motivators and the importance of building relationships.
Initially students fill out a positive psychology survey so that they can discover their strengths. From there, Mr. Marchman has his students determine their extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. Extrinsic motivators are influenced by outside causes but intrinsic motivators are motivations personally fulfilling to an individual.
“Discovering your intrinsic motivation is the real driver and this separates the champions,” Marchman explains. “I want students to leave my classroom understanding how to reach their full potential and what it takes to do that.”
An additional key to enhancing student outcomes is through encouraging his students to get involved and to make connections outside the classroom.
“Mr. Marchman had us join an organization at the school or within the community and stressed the importance of getting connected and meeting different groups of people, “ Camdyn King said of the course she took this past Fall semester. “He always made the content and theories interesting while also applying it to real-world scenarios.”
Marchman attributes his teaching approach to his diverse background outside of the classroom ranging from advertising to law enforcement and his role as the international president of Kappa Sigma fraternity.
“During my professional career, I’ve gone from how to motivate someone to crisis counseling and have seen many kids go down the wrong path,” he explained. “To be successful, we have to find out what motivates young people and how to encourage them to get a holistic experience out of college.”