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Psychology Dept | Library | Other SPCL OER

SPCL 7804 Human Development: Session 1: Unit 1 – Foundations

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


Please complete the following PRIOR to our first class session:

1. Review the syllabus.

2. Complete the readings.

Text Ch. 1, pp.9-23 (Library linkPDF link)

3. Self-Reflect:

  • Consider how your own development relates to some of the great debates in human development:
    • Nature vs. Nurture
    • Discontinuity vs. Continuity
    • Critical Periods and Neuroplasticity
    • Cultural Relativism vs. Universalism

You should write responses for each of the weekly self-reflection prompts. The reflection prompts are meant to facilitate the process of critical self-reflection and inquiry needed to successfully complete the final paper, My Personal Development.

4. Review for Quiz#1.

The 5-question multiple-choice quiz will be on the assigned reading.


In this session we go over course requirements. We will discuss the critical themes and issues in the study of human development. Students will get an overview of the major theories/theorists to be explored in the course: Erikson’s psychosocial stages; behaviorism; social learning theory; Piaget; Vygotsky; information-processing theories; Bronfenbrenner; Bowlby’s attachment theory; Ainsworth’s work on attachment styles; and Baumrind’s parenting styles, among others.

The session activities will consist of discussion, lecture, and application activities.