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EDU-491-23/EDU-540-50, Child and Adolescent Psychology (SP14)

 INSTRUCTOR: Ray Richardson, Email: rrichardson@ndm.edu, Home Phone: 410-452-8094 

SCHEDULE/DAY/TIME: Semester 1/6:00-8:45 p.m., 01/29/2014-04/09/2014


Students examine the five areas of development: physical, linguistic, cognitive, psychological and moral for children from infancy through adolescence through readings, lectures, class activities and student projects.  Students will learn about the history of child development, theory and research, including classic debates such as nature v. nurture and stage v. continuous development.  Major theorists and current research also will be reviewed as students learn key issues and concepts in each of the five areas as well as their influence and dependence on each other.  Students will connect theories of development to their own class projects.


-Discuss major theorists who have contributed to our understanding of various aspects of human development:  Freud, Piaget, Vygotsky, Gardner, Kohlberg, Erikson, Skinner, Bandura and Chomsky.

-Examine similarities and differences between the major theories of human development and how they have contributed to our understanding of development from infancy to adolescence.

-Understand the application of basic research strategies to human development in order to critically assess conclusions drawn from research.

-Develop an appreciation of the interrelationship between all aspects of development—physical, cognitive, social and emotional.

-Discuss some of the most controversial issues in human development and their implications.  -Some examples are the nature vs. nurture debates, the influence of gender on moral reasoning and intellectual function, the nature of intelligence and IQ testing, competition vs. cooperation and the impact of the changing nature of the family.




Small cooperative group activities


Project Presentations


-Class attendance and participation in discussion of reading assignments (20%). 

Note:  Due to the limited number of sessions, students are expected to attend every class and be actively involved in all group work and discussions of the reading assignments.  Non-attendance may result in a lower grade.  Education Department policies regarding attendance and lateness will be shared with students on the first night of class.

-Research/Observation/Experience Assignment and Oral Presentations (20%).  Working individually or in groups, the students will complete one oral presentation of a project.   A handout will be provided at the first class session with appropriate details and a due date.

Two Take-Home Assignments (20% each)

Assignment I:  chapters 1-9—due March 5

Assignment II:  chapters 10-15—due April 2

Final Reflection paper (20%)—due April  9 (Details in class).

Grading Policy/Course Expectations:

A:  95—100; B+:90—94; B:  85—89; C+:80—84; C:  75—79; D:  70—74; E:  69 and below

Note: All written assignments will be graded for content and mechanics. If a paper is late it will not receive an A unless reasonable extenuating circumstances apply. “Students who are in need of special accommodations because of a documented learning disability or physical disability must submit the appropriate documentation to the Vice President for Student Development’s Office. Once approved the accommodation plan will be developed.  It is the student’s responsibility to share the accommodation plan with the instructor of the course prior to the due date for tests of other assignments.” (October, 2011, Joann Southerly, Office Manager) 


Text:  Berk, L.E. (2013) Child Development (9th Edition), Boston: Pearson Education


As assigned.


Due to the limited number of classes and the compressed time available for class meetings, reading of Chapter 1 before the first class is helpful.


Jan 30 Chapter 1, Theories of Development,

Feb 6 Chapter 2, Basic Research Strategies, Chapter 3, Biological Foundations of Development

Feb 13 Chapters 4 & 5, Biological Foundations of Development

Feb 20 Chapters 6 & 7, Cognitive Development

Feb 27 Chapter 8, Intelligence & Chapter 9, Language Development,

Mar 6 Chapter 10, Emotional Development & Chapter 11, Self and Social Understanding; Take-Home Assignment on Chapters 1—9

Mar 13 Chapter 12, Moral Development Chapter 13 Gender

Mar 20 Chapter 14, The Family

Apr 3 Chapter 15, Peers, Media and Schooling; possible presentations of projects, Take-Home Assignment on Chapters 10—15

 Apr 10 Presentations of projects, Reflection Paper