Psy 510/511: Developmental Psychology (1996/1997)

Instructor: Robert H. Wozniak, Bryn Mawr College


I. Development, Mind, and Environment: An Introduction (September 4/September 11)

II. Development and the Growth of Reason: The Developmental Psychology of Jean Piaget (September 18/September 25)

III. Development, Information, and the Environment: The Ecological Approach of J. J. Gibson (October 2/October 9)

IV. Development, Society, and Culture: L.S. Vygotsky and the Cultural-Historical Method (October 16)

Infancy and Toddlerhood

V. Objects and Others I: The Perceptual World of the Human Infant (October 23)

VI. Objects and Others II: The Social World of the Human Infant (October 30)

VII. The Responsive Caregiver: Interactional Styles and Attachment (November 6)

VIII. Symbol Formation and the Acquisition of Language (November 13)

Early Childhood

IX. The Growth of Young Children's Understanding I: Theory of Mind (November 20)

X. The Growth of Young Children's Understanding II: Knowledge of the World, Number, and Life (December 4)

Semester 2

XI. The Growth of Young Children's Understanding III: Concepts and Categories (January 22)

XII. The Emergent Self: Early Self-Evaluation and Self-Concept (January 29)

XIII. We're Friends Aren't We? Origins and Growth of Social Competence (February 5)

XIV. Of Babies and Blocks: The Social and Biological Origins of Gender (February 12)

Middle Childhood

XV. Family, School, and Culture: The Ecology of Middle Childhood (February 19)

XVI. Reasons, Rules, and Strategies: The Development of Logic, Memory, and Productive Thinking (February 26/March 5)

XVII. The Hierarchical, Contextual Self: The Growth of Global and Domain Specific Self-Esteem (March 19)

XVIII. Playgrounds and Peers: Friendship, Aggression, and Altruism (March 26)

Early Adolescence

XIX. Constructing an Identity: Adolescents and the Perception of Self (April 9)

XX. Reasons, Rules, and Conventions: The Development of a Moral Self (April 16)

XXI. Autonomy and Connectedness: Adolescents, Parents, and Peers (April 23)

XXII. Conclusion (April 30)

Assignments: a) readings; b) abstract assignments.. Assignments should be completed prior to the class period for which they have been assigned.

Readings: The above readings are on reserve. In addition to these readings, you are asked to read: Berk, L. E. (1996). Child Development (4th edition). MA: Allyn & Bacon (available in the book store). There are no specific assignments in Berk. The book provides an overview of the field as a whole. It should be read at leisure over the course of the semester.

Abstracts: The abstract assignments are designed to help you improve your skills as a researcher and research consumer and critic. All six abstract assignments involve reading and abstracting articles from major journals in developmental psychology. In addition, the last four abstract assignments ask you to critique the relevant article. Detailed instructions on abstracting and critique (with examples) will be circulated in advance of the assignment.

Research Proposal: The research proposal consists of: a) an introduction containing a well-developed rationale for a proposed piece of research supported by a review of the literature adequate to justify the research; and b) a detailed description of a method and procedure by which the research can be carried out. In order to help move this project along, a number of subdeadlines must be met. The first is November 6, when a set of possible topics (broadly described) must be submitted. The second is January 22, by which time you must have chosen a specific topic and created an outline for your proposal. The third is March 19 by which time a rough draft of the research proposal must be submitted. Final deadline for the completed project is May 10.

Evaluation: Evaluation will take place each semester. First semester evaluation will be based on: a) participation in class discussions; b) on-time completion of abstract assignments; and c) two take-home, short-answer essay exams (mid-term, final). Second semester evaluation will be based on: a) participation in class discussions; b) on-time completion of abstract assignments; c) a take-home, short-answer essay mid-term exam; d) a self-scheduled, timed (3 hour) final which will be designed as a mock field exam; and e) a completed research proposal

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