INTRODUCTIONS/Thinking About Development

The course begins with a discussion of course objectives and requirements, along with introduction of classmates.

There are two introductory assignments: 1) a team project of depicting descriptions and definitions of important aspects of human development through art; and 2) a discussion of the societal impacts on development, particularly the educational, social, political, economic and medical impacts. Groups meet and develop a consensus report for presentation and discussion to the class.

DEVELOPMENT: Description and Overview

Provides definitions and an overview of the field of developmental psychology. Includes a discussion of roles of developmental psychologists, focus, questions, periods of development, developmental perspectives, developmental theories, influences to development, major issues and points of debate about development, research methodologies used and the types of research implemented, and the ethical considerations.


Provides an overview and background on genetic contributions to development and important considerations and contributions to conception. Includes a review of genetic concepts, the process of conception, alternative methods of conception, genetic influences, patterns of genetic transmission, sex determination, genetic abnormalities and the current research and methodologies in genetic engineering.


Focuses on learning how to create the most optimal environment for prenatal development and the information and important guidelines from research that parents should be aware of. Includes a discussion of: assessment techniques for diagnosis of healthy and defective fetuses; the important environmental and other influences on prenatal development; the critical factors for ideal prenatal development, the importance of prenatal care and monitoring; stages of prenatal development; development of the embryo and fetus; critical periods in development; fetal brain development; prenatal abilities; methods ( and alternative methods) of childbirth; birth; and the complications that can be experienced during childbirth.


An examination of the first three years of life, from the point of birth. Focuses on the newborn--the most critical information that parents, practitioners and professionals need to know. Includes a discussion of the newborn's medical screening, effects of birth trauma, bodily functionining, sensory and motor development assessments, and so on.

The discussion of infancy and toddlerhood includes a focus on physical development, nutrition, sensory and motor development, mortaility, cognitive development, learning and maturation, language acquisition, attachment, competence, parental influences, psychosocial development, development of temperament, and traumas.

In addition, theoretical perspectives and research findings are blended into discussions.


Focuses on the years, three to six -- the important formative years of acquiring basic socialization processes.

The discussion begins with a historical overview of perspectives and practices relative to children and child development. Includes also a discussion of physical development and health and safety of children, cognitive and language development, preschool, daycare, headstart and kindergarten, psychosocial development, fears and phobias, childrearing practicies, parenting styles, the importance of play, developmental issues, and research findings.


Focuses on the childhood years of six to twelve. Discussion includes a focus on physical development, fitness, health and safety; cognitive and language development; influences on school achievement and performance; exceptional children; psychosocial development; development of a self-concept and self-esteem; family and peer interactions; and, emotional and mental development.

(**For Psy 235 Students, only.  Students enrolled in Psy 235 may include this developmental period in research and forum #2.)

The period of developmental transition -- launched by puberty -- is discussed. Adolescence spans the ages of twelve years to eighteen to twenty-one years, depending on the theorist and various state policies.

Discussion includes a focus on adolescent physical and mental health; adolescent rites of passage, worldwide; personal and social problems; cognitive development; the influence of high school; psychosocial development; theories regarding adolescent development; gender identity and role issues; the influence of parents and peers on adolescent development.