PSY 235 Syllabus


Division:        Arts and Sciences                                                                                                               Date:  February 2014


Curricula in Which Course is Taught:  Liberal Arts, Early Childhood Development, and Child Care


Curricula in Which Course is Taught:  PSY 235, Child Psychology


Credit Hours:   3       Hours/Wk Lecture:    3      Hours/Wk Lab:  0                Lec/Lab Comb:    0



I.              Catalog Description:         Studies development of the child from conception to adolescence. Investigates physical, intellectual, social, and emotional factors involved in the child's growth. Lecture 3 hours per week.


II.            Relationship of the course to curricula objectives in which it is taught: 


This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the most prevalent theoretical approaches and up-to-date research findings in the field of child development. Students also learn of effective parenting and child care practices that have been validated by child development research. Thus, this course provides a basic understanding of child development that is essential for persons who plan to work in professions that involve teaching or supervising children, or for those who plan to pursue baccalaureate degrees in fields such as psychology, education, health sciences, or other social science specialties.

III.           Required background: 


Satisfactory scores on college entrance assessment or permission of the instructor are required to enroll in PSY 235. It is recommended, but not required, that students have taken PSY 126 or PSY 200 or PSY 201-202 before attempting this course.


IV.          Course Content:


A.               History and scope of field of child development

B.               The scientific method as it is applied to research in child psychology

C.               Theories of child development

D.               Issues related to heredity and environment

E.               Prenatal development

F.                Physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development as it occurs in infants and toddlers, preschoolers, and middle childhood

V.  Learner Outcomes


The student will:


VI.  Evaluation

A.               Understand child psychology as the scientific study of the ways in which children grow, change, and develop, from conception through middle childhood.

B.               Be familiar with principal theories related to child development.

C.               Understand basic principles of genetics, and know how researchers study the impact of genetically inherited traits and predispositions.

D.               Grasp the significance of the nature vs. nurture debate, and understand how both factors appear to influence change and growth, beginning at conception and continuing throughout childhood.

E.               Know the various physical, cognitive, and psychosocial developmental tasks that children are expected to accomplish during childhood.

F.                Know which factors will positively and negatively influence child development, and understand how those factors that are malleable can be controlled to achieve optimal developmental outcomes.

G.               Understand the impact that a child’s cultural context has upon his or her development, and acquire an appreciation for different cultures.

H.               Be able to critically evaluate theories, research, and assertions about child development.

Student performance will be evaluated by a combination of tests, quizzes, exams, papers, and other special projects or assignments as defined by the individual faculty member. This course includes a mandatory writing assignment or presentation assignment defined by the instructor.

All written assignments will be assessed for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and consistency according to the conventions of standard English.



VII.         This course supports the following objectives:


            DCC Educational Objectives:


            Critical Thinking

            Cultural and Social Understanding

            Personal Development