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COURSE NAME: "Child Development "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 10:00-11:15 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: PS 101
OFFICE HOURS: before and after class and by appointment

Follows the development of the child through adolescence, with emphasis on the complexity and continuity of psychological development. The course will emphasize the interaction and interdependence of the various systems: biological, genetic, and environmental, as well as the interaction and the interdependence of cognitive and social factors in the various stages of development, from the prenatal period through adolescence. Particular attention will be placed on attachment theory, the development of the self, and possible pathological outcomes of faulty development.
This course will follow development from birth through adolescence, with emphasis on the developing child in his intersubjective contexts, the interrelationship between different aspects of development (cognitive, physical, interpersonal and emotional and social), and childhood as the foundation of the adult personality.  Particular attention will be given to infant research and the implications of the findings of intersubjective infant researchers on later emerging characteristics of the child, and on attachment theory through all phases of child development. 
The student will learn to read professional writing in child development, think about the implications of the findings of researchers in the area and understand the child in the contexts of his physical and mental development, his intersubjective relationships and his social and cultural environment.  The emphasis is on understanding rather than on information. 
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
child development, its nature and courseDeHart Sroufe Coopermc graw hillisbn This text gives some of the background material for the course. You can buy it used or use the copy in the library, share a copy with someone else, etc. It can be expensive so preferably get it used.

2 short essays (1 to 2 pages) to be assigned. These are specifically important as preparation for the type of work required on the exams. Exam questions will be very similar to homework assignments. They should be rewritten is unsatisfactory. 10%
midterm exam during a 75 minute class periodThe exam will consist of essay questions only, which will emphasize understanding over knowledge. Open book20%
group project based on a reading assigned in classseveral articles or topics will be offered to choose from. Students will choose one and work on it in a group to present their conclusions to the class10 %
child observation essay (2 - 5 pages)The student will observe a child or group of children (at a park, outside a school, in a bus or train or plane, at a restaurant) or use an experience of the past with children (for example camp counselor, teaching assistant, babysitter) and will describe some aspect of the intersubjective relationships observed and relate them to the theory as presented in class readings10%
final exam 2 and a half hoursThis will be an open book essay-question final exam emphasizing understanding and application of the material taught in the course. If the grade of the final is higher than that of the midterm, the final exam grade will replace the midterm grade in calculating the grade given for the entire course. 40%

A Because this course is not about knowledge of facts or even knowledge of the course material, but is about understanding, thinking about and applying the material presented in the course, these will be the criteria for an A. With open-book and open-note exams, it hardly makes sense to give much credit to knowledge as such, since it will be readily available to you. But the understanding of the material - an understanding that shows that you’ve thought about it, can come up with examples or show its application and implications for the field and perhaps outside of the specific field - is the mark of an excellent paper or exam. You will, hopefully, form your own opinions of this material and by no means are you required to agree with the professor. In fact, very often some of the best work students do comes from a critical analysis of the material and positions taken by the professor. However, your critical analysis must necessarily show your understanding of what it is you’re criticizing, as well as clear and reasoned arguments for your opinion. Ideally it should try to anticipate the criticism of the professor’s point of view and answer these potential criticisms. If you agree with the material, then you should be able to show that you’ve thought about it, come up with further examples, considered the implications and thought of possible objections and the answers to them. A paper or exam that shows the above qualities will be given an A
B To receive a B you’ll show good knowledge of the course material and arguments presented, will have some examples of the material but while some will be original, they will be primarily the examples given in class, and you’ll show some sense of the implications but these, too, will be primarily limited to the implications mentioned in the course. Your arguments will be well presented and thought out, but these won’t go very far beyond the actual material of the course.
C To receive a C you’ll show knowledge of the material insofar as it can be found in the readings and lecture notes, but it will often not be complete, and will not show much personal elaboration of the material. Examples and applications of the material will be limited and there will be some concepts that you haven’t clearly understood.
D You’ll receive a D when there’s some indication that you didn’t fully read or understand the material or follow the class lectures and discussions. There will be gaps in what you’ve been able to find in the readings and class notes. You won’t have understood some concepts.
F To fail the course with an F it will be apparent that you haven’t read or understood a large part of the material and can’t find it among your notes or readings, that you haven’t done some of the reading or followed in class and have no understanding of the material that is in the paper or essay beyond relaying some facts.



The student is presumed to be a responsible adult who will attend class and get the notes for classes missed. Therefore there will be no official penalties for absences. However it will be extremely difficult to pass the course without attending class and class material will be drawn on for exams.In the case of group projects, the responsibility of the student is to the other group members, and participation in the group will be part of the grade.  Note that THE CLASS IS IN A LECTURE FORMAT AND PARTICIPATION IS WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED, THERE ARE NO POWER POINTS.
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.






Class notes, “blackboard”

Theory. What is theory, what is its importance. Subjectivity, objectivity, introspection, intersubjectivity


Text ch 2,

Contexts of development and the importance of context in general


Text ch 3, pgs 98 – 114,

Pregnancy and birth. Psychological aspects of pregnancy4

Text ch 4,

Stern Interpersonal life ch3 Emergent Self: pgs: 37-53,61-68; Forms of Vitality ch 1; “Blackboard” 04 notes.

Beebe & L.Origins of Attachment ch 2

Film in class from Mother-Infant Picture Book;:facial mirroring

Infant capacities. Competencies, reflexes, instincts & preferences of infant- emergent self, forms of vitality, representations of interactions generalized, amodal perception, forms of vitality, contingencies, agency, regulation and developmental neurology,


Text ch 5; Stern interpersonal World of the Infant: ch 5 sense of core self;

Beebe & L infant research & adult treatment ch 5 “Patterns of early interactive regulation”

Infant cognitive development, sense of self & invariants,  – Piagetian theory: assimilation and accommodation; infant cognitive development acc to Piaget, memory, beginnings of organized sense of self, invariants


Text ch 6;

R. Karen: Becoming Attached:

 ch 13 Minnesota..;

 ch 14 Mother Father...;

 ch 15 structures of mind;

Beebe & L:Mother-infant interaction picture book ch 4 and film in class

Infant social and emotional development, attachment 


Chapter 7;

Daniel Stern Interpersonal world of the Infant:  ch 8 “Sense of a verbal self”

Toddlers language and thought.  innate and environmental components, non-linguistic symbolic representation.  Sense of a verbal self; what infant gains and loses with language.


Text Chapter 8;

Beebe & L The Origins of Attachment. ch 1 "The Origins of Relatedness”

Toddler social and emotional development.   Parent-toddler relationship.   Roots of personality.   Parental abuse and neglect.  Attachment patterns.


Text ch 9

Early childhood Cognitive development.  Preschool thought.  Quantitative tasks, number, other conceptual tools.  social cognition: child's theory of mind, egocentrism. Vygotsky and social aspects of cognition


Text ch 10

Early childhood Social and emotional development.  Developing self: identity,  peers,   Emotional development.  Play.  Parent's role


Text ch 11

Middle childhood- cognitive development.  Conservation, classification.  Social interaction and cognitive development.  Intelligence.


Text ch 12

Middle childhood: Social and emotional development   psychological and social self.  The self objects.  social self, sexual identity.  Peers.  emotional development. 


Text ch 13

Adolescence: physical and cognitive development.  Impact of physical on development. Neurological changes.  Cognitive changes: formal operations.  Social cognition.


Text ch 14

Adolescence: Social and emotional development.  Identity.  Development of self.  peer relationships.  sexual activity.  family relationships


Text Chapter 15:

Stern:Interpers world ch 9 the observed infant;

Bowlby, Separation: Anxious attachment and the phobias of childhood;

Miller: “The drama of the gifted child”

Mate': Scattered: ch 8, 9 & 10

Pathological development.  Risks, protective factors.  Defining and assessing health and pathology.  Biological, environmental and developmental perspectives.  Some types of disorders