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Principles of Child Development (85-221): Fall 2011

When: Tuesday - Thursday 1:30 p.m-2:50 pm Instructor: Dr. David Rakison Office: Baker Hall 354N Phone: 268-3477 Email: rakison@andrew.cmu.edu Office hrs: Tue-Thur 11:00-12:00 or by appointment Where: Baker Hall A51 (Giant Eagle Auditorium) Teaching Assistant: Lucy Erickson Office: Baker Hall 455I Phone: 268-8120 Email: lerickso@andrew.cmu.edu Office hrs: Mon-Wed 3.30-4:30 or by appointment

Class web page: http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~rakison/POCD.html Required textbook: How Children Develop. Siegler, R., DeLoache, J., & Eisenberg, N. Worth, 2010 (3rd Edition) Note: You must purchase the third - not the second - edition of the book

Overview The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to the study of developmental psychology from conception through to the onset of adolescence. The emphasis is on basic concepts and theories of child growth and development as these apply to the psychological processes of perception, cognition, social interactions, affective, and moral development. In addition to learning basic developmental concepts, students are expected to become familiar with various research designs and procedures that have been used in the research literature. Students are also made aware of existing controversies in the literature, and they are therefore encouraged to view developmental psychology as an evolving discipline.

Course Goals The purpose of this course is for you to learn about the fundamentals of child development. Specifically, the goals of the course are for you to develop the following skills: (1) An understanding of the basic principles, theories, and experimental findings of scientific research in developmental psychology. (2) An appreciation of the special methodological challenges of developmental research. (3) The ability to communicate and work with young children as research participants. (4) A consideration of ethical issues associated with research involving children. (5) The ability to use the library and other resources to find out what is known about a research topic. (6) The skills to conduct an observational project with young children. (7) The potential to evaluate others research critically and constructively. (8) An in-depth knowledge of a specific area of developmental psychology based on your research of the literature. (9) The ability to think critically about the existing theories and empirical studies in the field.

Assessment Strategies The course consists of a lecture module that meets twice weekly. There will be four exams in total, of which only three will contribute to your final grade. Thus, you may use the highest three exam scores toward your overall grade. Each of three exams will contribute 15% to your grade. The total percentage of the exams toward your final score will therefore be 45%. The exact format of the exams will be discussed in class. You will also be required to complete three papers, the scores from two of which will contribute 45% to your final grade (22.5% each). The first two papers are mandatory and will be based on observations of 3and 5-year-olds at the CMU Childrens School. If you fail to complete one of the mandatory papers you will automatically receive an irreplaceable 0 for that paper. There are no exceptions to this rule. The other paper will involve discussing views on child development with your own family. Note that you must score at least 50% on the mandatory observation papers to be able to replace the score for one of them with the third paper. There will also be four (or perhaps more) short surprise quizzes in class that will cover material from the previous lecture. Finally, 5% of your final grade is determined by class attendance (see below). Participation and attendance: There is a five strikes and youre out policy: If you miss more than four classes during the semester, you will be assigned a zero for the attendance component of the course. If students miss a class for a valid reason (e.g., illness) and it is documented, that missed class will not count against them. Appropriate documentation for illness is a note from the Health Centre that is signed by a physician or nurse. You should present such documentation to the TA. I also hope that despite the size of the class, you will contribute to discussion. Constructive contributions derive from coming to class well prepared, with questions and suggestions based on the readings. Impressive contributions in class can contribute to your overall grade by pushing you beyond a grade cutoff if you are close to it. Grading Because grading is not based on a curve it is theoretically possible for everyone to receive an A (or an F). It is possible to earn a total of 100 points for the course: Exam 1 Exam 2 Exam 3 Paper 1 Paper 2 Pop quizzes Attendance TOTAL 15% 15% 15% 22.5% 22.5% 5% 5% 100%

The grading system for the course is as follows (Note: I reserve the right to adjust slightly this grading system at a later time): A = 90- 100


= 80 89 = 70 79 = 60 69 = below 60

Policies Late Work: Assigned work will lose 5% for each day late. All assigned work is due at the beginning of class and will be considered late if it is handed in at any point after class. Extensions will not be granted UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES the week that an assignment is due. Extensions will be granted in the week prior to the assignment due date only on the grounds of serious problems and on a case-by-case basis. Documentation for example, a written and fully justified explanation from a physician - will be necessary for a student to avoid losing points for late work. Stating that your computer or the network crashed, that a printer failed to work, or that a file is unrecoverable will not be accepted as a valid excuse for late work. Be sure to back up your work on separate formats and do not leave printing until the last minute. Students who miss one examination for reasons other than illness will have to take the other three exams that are offered. If the first exam is missed because of illness and a student is also ill for one of the other exams he/she must inform me - by phone, email, or in person before the exam to be exempt from taking the test. Any student who misses an exam without making prior arrangements will be given a zero for that exam.There are no exceptions to this rule. Any student who cannot take an exam, having made prior arrangements with me, will take it as close as possible to the original test date. No matter how good your excuse, a written and fully justified explanation from a physician will be necessary for a student to miss the exam because of illness. If you are allowed extra time to take an exam, the paperwork must be presented to the instructor within two weeks of the start of class. Cheating and Plagiarism: Cheating and plagiarism are defined in the CMU Student Handbook, and include (1) submitting work that is not your own for papers, assignments, or exams; (2) copying ideas, words, or graphics from a published or unpublished source without appropriate citation; (3) submitting or using falsified data; and (4) submitting the same work for credit in two courses without prior consent of both instructors. Any student who is found cheating or plagiarizing on any work for this course will receive a failing grade for that work. Further action may be taken if necessary. Working at the Childrens School: Policies for research at the CMU Childrens School will be reviewed in class. When working at the Childrens School, students will be expected to abide by all school policies. Students who fail to do so will not be permitted to work at the Childrens School, and will consequently be unable to complete the course. Important Contacts at the Childrens School For suggestions: Professor Sharon Carver, Director, 8-1499 sc0e@andrew.cmu.edu For subject scheduling, administrative issues: Ms. Allison Drash, Administrative Coordinator, 8-2199 adrash@andrew.cmu.edu

Other points: Office hours are provided for assistance in understanding the readings or lectures, questions about exams or papers, and for general problems with the course. You do not need to book an appointment, just turn up and drop in. Try to formulate your questions before arriving so that the largest number of students can use

the office hour productively. However, please do not come to the office hour for help until you have attempted first to find a solution to your problem. If you would like to make an appointment with me or with the TA, please contact us to arrange a time suitable to everyone. Almost without exception, the best way to contact me is via email. To get to Lucys office, enter the glass double doors by the elevator in Baker Hall. Immediately on your left, you will see a phone on the wall and a door to the grad wing offices. Dial 8-8120 on the phone. This rings directly into Lucys office. She will then come down and let you in. Please turn up to class on time. It is distracting to me and to the other students if you arrive late (or try to leave early). If you do arrive late, then please try to enter as quietly as possible. Students who arrive on time may be privy to information about the exam/papers that will not be repeated at a later date. Material presented in the lectures will not always be covered in the text, and material in the text will not always be covered in the lectures. If you miss a class, please find out from a classmate what went on in class, including the content of the lecture, handouts, assignments, and announcements. I make the lecture notes available to the class on the website approximately three or four days before the lecture. To get the most out of lectures you should read these notes, and complete the readings before class on the day for which they are assigned. The lecture notes have gaps that will be completed in class if you miss a class you should obtain the missing information from one of your fellow students. Note that these gaps will not be completed by me in the on-line files (what would be the point of having them in the first place?). How to do well in this class: Completing the assigned reading and thinking about the content of the text is essential to doing well in this class. You will get more out of the class if you put in approximately 4 to 6 hours of reading (and thinking) a week. I actively encourage you to engage in discussion during the class; the more discussion we have, the more enjoyable the course will be, and the more we will all learn. The papers require you to think about the question at hand, and to be creative, perform a small observational project (for Papers 1 & 2), and to write and present in a clear, concise, and interesting manner. A good writing style is important, and the TA will be happy to see drafts of the lab paper. The exams will be a test of your understanding and knowledge of the material. They will consist of multiple choice questions and short answer questions. If you are not clear about something covered in the text or in class, ask me in office hours or bring up the topic during class hours. The surprise quizzes will be at the beginning of class and will consist of a few short answer questions. Some of the material will be difficult, and we shall endeavor, as a class, to work through such material together. If you are finding the course hard to cope with, come see me and we can discuss how to make things easier for you (for example, changing your study habits, note taking, working in groups).

Class Schedule (note: this may change slightly during the semester)

DATE 1 Tue. Aug. 30 2 Thu. Sept 1 3 Tue. Sept 6

TOPIC Course overview Why study development? Methods for studying development



Ch. 1 (pp. 2-24) Ch. 1 (pp. 24-38)

4 Thu. Sept 8 5 Tue. Sept 13 6 Thu. Sept 15

Prenatal development Biology and Behavior Brain development and physical growth

Ch. 2 Ch. 3 (pp. 84-101) Ch. 3 (pp. 102-124)

Paper 1 HO: Physical development

Next three/four weeks: Observation at Childrens School 7 Tue. Sept 20 8 Thu. Sept 22 9 Tue. Sept 27 10 Thu. Sep 29 11 Tue. Oct. 4 12 Thu. Oct. 6 13 Tue. Oct 11 14 Thu. Oct 13 Theories of cognitive development: Piaget & beyond Theories of cognitive development: other theories EXAM 1 Infancy: motor development Infancy: Learning, cognition, and perceptual development Language development 1 Language development 2 Conceptual development Ch. 5 (pp.190-199) Ch. 5 (pp. 199-212; pp. 176190) Ch. 6 Ch. 6 Ch. 7 Paper 1 due Paper 2 HO: Cognitive/Social development Ch. 4 (pp. 128-143) Ch. 4 (pp. 143-171)

Next four/five weeks: Observation at Childrens School 15 Tue. Oct 18 16 Thu. Oct 20 17 Tue. Oct 25 EXAM 2 Mid-semester break: NO CLASS Intelligence Ch. 8

18 Thu. Oct 27 19 Tue. Nov. 1 20 Thu. Nov. 3 21 Tue. Nov 8 22 Thu. Nov 10 23 Tue. Nov 15 24 Thu. Nov 17 27 Tue. Nov 22 28 Thu. Nov 24 29 Tue. Nov 29 30 Thu. Dec 1 29 Tue. Dec 6

Theories of social development Social development theories cont. Emotional development Attachment and identity Identity cont. and self esteem EXAM 3 Family

Ch. 9 Ch. 9 Ch. 10 Ch. 11 Ch. 11 Paper 3 HO: Generations

Ch. 12

Paper 2 due

THANKSGIVING: NO CLASS Peers and Friends Gender Conclusions Ch. 13 Ch. 15 Ch. 16 Paper 3 due

An Introduction to Child Development How Children Develop (2nd ed.) Siegler, DeLoache & Eisenberg Chapter 1 What is development? General terms: Changes in individuals height, weight, behavior, or other characteristics or traits But not all changes are development Formal term: Changes that are: Systematic not haphazard Successive not independent - for example, walking. Werner: Global to complex - Walking counts but not weight increase

What aspects of development are important?


abilities do children develop?

Can infants perform arithmetic? (e.g., 1+1 = 2)


do children develop an ability?

At what age can infants perform arithmetic?


do children develop?

How do infants perform arithmetic? How do they advance from this point? How did it develop in the first place?


do children develop some abilities and not others?

Why are infants able to add and subtract?

Why Study Child Development? Reason #1: Raising Children

Knowledge of child development can help parents and teachers meet the challenges of rearing and educating children

Researchers have identified effective approaches that caregivers can use successfully

Reason #2: Choosing Social Policies

Knowledge of child development permits informed decisions about social-policy questions that affect children Research on childrens responses to leading interview questions helped Reason #3: Understanding Human Nature

Child-development research provides important insights into some of the most intriguing questions regarding human nature The existence of innate concepts The relationship between early and later experiences

Children adopted from inadequate orphanages in Romania show that the timing of experiences often influences their effects

Historical Foundations of the Study of Child Development: Early Philosophical Views

Provided enduring insights about critical issues in childrearing but their methods were unscientific Both Plato and Aristotle believed that the long-term welfare of society depended on childrens being raised properly, but they differed in their approaches

Plato emphasized self-control and discipline Aristotle was concerned with fitting child rearing to the needs of the individual child

Plato believed that children are born with Aristotle believed that knowledge comes from experience Later Philosophers

John Locke, like Aristotle, saw the child as a tabula rasa Jean-Jacques Rousseau parents and society should give the child maximum freedom from the beginning Research-Based Approach Emerged in the nineteenth century, in part as a result of two converging forces Social reform movements: research conducted for the benefit of children Charles Darwins theory of evolution inspired research in child development in order to gain insights into the nature of the human species Formal Field of Inquiry

Child development emerged as a formal field of inquiry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Sigmund Freud and John Watson formulated influential theories of development during this period Freud: biological drives, especially sexual ones, are crucial Watson: childrens behavior arises from the rewards and punishments following behaviors The research methods for these theories were limited: but they were better grounded in research and inspired more sophisticated thinking Enduring Themes in Child Development 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Nature and Nurture The Active Child Continuity/Discontinuity Mechanisms of Developmental Change The Sociocultural Context Individual Differences Research and Childrens Welfare

Questions and Themes

Nature and Nurture The single most basic question about child development is how nature and nurture interact to shape the developmental process

Developmentalists now recognize that every characteristic we possess is

created through Accordingly, they ask how nature and nurture work together to shape development How do children shape their own development? Children contribute to their own development from early in life, and their contributions increase as they grow older

Three of the most important contributions during childrens first years are their Use of language

Older children and adolescents choose many environments, friends, and activities for themselves; their choices can exert a large impact on their future Continuity vs. Discontinuity

Stage theories propose that development occurs in a progression of agerelated, qualitative shifts Depending on how it is viewed, changes in height can be viewed as either continuous or discontinuous Examining a boys height at yearly intervals from birth to 18 years makes the growth look Examining changes in the same boys height from one year to the next makes growth seem

How does developmental change occur? Darwins theory of evolution provides a useful framework for thinking about the mechanisms that produce change in childrens development Variation refers to differences in individuals Selection describes the more frequent survival and reproduction of organisms that are well adapted to their environment Psychological variation and selection appear to produce changes within an individual lifetime
Variation and selection are apparent in brain development and in the strategies used to solve single-digit addition problems

How does the sociocultural context influence development?

Sociocultural context: Refers to the physical, social, cultural, economic, and

historical circumstances that make up any childs environment Contexts of development differ within and between cultures Mayan children typically years their parents for several

The US culture prizes independence and self-reliance, whereas the Mayan culture values interdependence

Development is affected by income and education

and which is a measure of social class based on

How do children become so different from each other?

Individual differences among children arise very quickly in development Childrens their treatment by other people, their subjective reactions to other people, and their all contribute to differences

How can research promote a childs well-being?

Child-development research yields practical benefits in diagnosing childrens problems and in helping children to overcome them

Preferential looking enabled the diagnosis of the effects of cataracts in infants as young as two months of age