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Psychology Dept | Library | Other SPCL OER

SPCL 7804 Human Development: Sessions

Open Educational Resource (OER) created for Professor Elizalde-Utnick's SPCL 7804 course.

Lecture Links

Each session focuses on a different aspect of development, beginning in infancy and working chronologically towards early adulthood. The major domains of development that will be covered are cognitive development and social-emotional emotional development, including attachment, self-concept and identity development, and interpersonal relationships. Click on a topic link to see assigned readings for each session, supplemental material, and reflection questions for each set of readings. The reflection questions are meant to facilitate the process of critical self-reflection and inquiry needed to successfully complete the final paper, My Personal Development.  

Session 1, 1/29
UNIT 1: Foundations

  • Introduction to course and requirements. Introduction to human development. Themes and issues in development.
  • Session Activities: Lecture, discussion, and applications
  • Reading: Text Ch. 1, pp.8-22 (Library link, PDF link)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider how your own development relates to some of the great debates in human development: a. Nature vs. Nurture; b. Discontinuity vs. Continuity; c. Critical Periods and Neuroplasticity; d. Cultural Relativism vs. Universalism

Session 2, 2/5
UNIT 1, continued

  • Supporting development in schools. Factors influencing learning. Nature meets nurture: The use of behaviorism in schools. Theory of mind.
  • Session Activities: Readiness Assurance Process (RAT), lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Benjamin; Bouton; Malle
  • Self-Reflection: Consider the nature-nurture as it relates to the readings. Would you rather have a really good memory or really good metacognition? Describe an example of Pavlovian conditioning that you have seen in your own behavior. Describe an example of operant conditioning in your own behavior. How does the theory of mind apply to you?

2/12 – No Class – Holiday

Session 3, 2/19
UNIT 2: The Early Years

  • Infancy and toddlerhood. From reflexes to voluntary movements. Cognitive development in infancy: Piaget’s sensorimotor stage. Infant memory. Beginning of language development.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 3, pp.68-92 (Library linkPDF link)
  • Self-Reflection: Start gathering information from caregivers regarding your infancy and toddlerhood. Consider how Piaget’s theory applies to your own personal development. Do your former caretakers remember your behavior as an infant?

Session 4, 2/26
UNIT 2: The Early Years

  • Infancy and toddlerhood, continued. Prosocial development. Temperament and parenting. Infant emotions. Forming attachments.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 3, pp.93-103 (Library linkPDF link)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider your own emotional development and attachment in early childhood. How do Erikson’s, Bowlby’s, and Ainsworth’s theories apply to your own developmental experiences? Continue gathering data from your early childhood.

Session 5, 3/5
UNIT 2: The Early Years

  • Early childhood. Developmental domains: motor skills; self-help skills; cognitive development. Piaget’s preoperational period. Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development. Information-processing theory.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 4, pp.110-133 (Library linkPDF link)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider how Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories apply to your own developmental experiences. Continue gathering data from your early childhood.

Session 6, 3/12
UNIT 2: The Early Years

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse preschoolers. Second language acquisition and childhood bilingualism. A look at educational models for English language learners.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Shin (PDF link, password-protected); Elizalde-Utnick (PDF link, password-protected)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider your own cultural and linguistic background and educational history.

Session 7, 3/19
UNIT 2: The Early Years

  • Psychosocial development in early childhood. The emerging self and socialization. Exploring self-awareness, self-concepts, and self-regulation. Parenting styles across cultures. Play development.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 4, pp.133-146 (Library linkPDF link)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider your own developing self. Describe your parent(s)’ parenting style. Continue gathering data from your early childhood. What were your play behaviors like?

Session 8, 3/26
UNIT 3: Middle & Late Childhood

  • Cognitive development. Piaget’s concrete operations. Information processing. Theories of intelligence. Learning differences.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 5, pp.153-181 (Library linkPDF link)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider Piaget’s theory as it applies to your own cognitive development experiences. How do the information processing theories apply to you?

Session 9, 4/2
UNIT 3: Middle & Late Childhood

  • Social-emotional development. Exploring self and moral development. Peer relationships and family life.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 5, pp.182-193 (Library linkPDF link)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider your social- emotional development in middle and late childhood. How does the reading apply to you personally?

Session 10, 4/9
UNIT 4: Adolescence

  • Growth, risk factors, and resilience. Exploring cognitive development.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 6, pp.202-217 (Library linkPDF link)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider your development during adolescence. What risk factors affected you? What helped to promote resilience in you? Describe your cognitive development.

Session 11, 4/16
UNIT 4: Adolescence

  • Psychosocial development. Identity development: Exploring Erikson’s, Marcia’s, and Phinney’s theories. Gender and peer relationships. Culturally and linguistically diverse adolescents in schools.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 6, pp.218-225 (Library linkPDF link); Elizalde-Utnick & Guerrero (PDF link, password-protected)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider the various domains of your identity development during adolescence. Describe your peer relationships during adolescence. What was your experience in school during adolescence?
  • DUE: Annotated Bibliography

April 23 – No Class – Spring Recess

Session 12,  4/30
UNIT 5: Emerging & Early Adulthood

  • Cultural variations in emerging adulthood. Young adulthood. Continued identity development. Gender roles. Sexuality and sexual orientation.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 7, pp.230-249 (Library linkPDF link); Arnett; Boskey (PDF link, password-protected)
  • Self-Reflection: When did you consider yourself an adult? How did this relate to your parent(s) perceptions about adulthood? Describe your continued identity development during college and beyond. Consider your gender identity and sexual orientation.

Session 13, 5/7
UNIT 5: Emerging & Early Adulthood

  • Formal and postformal thought. Self- efficacy. Career development: Exploring Super’s life-span theory. Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 7, pp.249-254 (Library linkPDF link); Maddux & Kleiman; Hartung (direct link, must be logged in to Library)
  • Self-Reflection: Consider your cognitive abilities as an adult. Where are you now? Formal or postformal thought? What is your level of self-efficacy? Consider your own career development. How does Super’s theory apply to you personally?

Session 14, 5/14
UNIT 5: Emerging & Early Adulthood

  • Psychosocial development in adulthood. Exploring adult relationships and attachments. Adult lifestyles and parenting.
  • Session Activities: RAT, lecture, discussion, and applications.
  • Readings: Text Ch. 7, pp.254-275 (Library linkPDF link)
  • Self-Reflection: What are your adult relationships and attachments like? How does the reading apply to you personally?

Session 15, 5/21

  • In this session the class engages in a culminating activity that applies the various constructs discussed over the semester.
  • DUE: My Personal Development Paper.