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Unit information: Developmental Psychology in 2016/17

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Unit name Developmental Psychology
Unit code EDUCM5411
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Meadows
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites - EDUCM5410 - The Psychology of Individual Differences.
School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description

This unit explores research and theory on psychological development. As the last taught unit of the MEd/BPS conversion course, it will extend and consolidate the coverage of developmental psychology topics in earlier units. Students will bring their critical knowledge of developmental psychology to address key topics.

Topics studied will be determined by the interests of the staff and students involved. An indicative list follows.

Research methods appropriate to the study of development. General theories of the nature and nurture of psychological attributes. Development of general representational abilities: especially language, drawing and number. Development of executive function in preschool children. Out-of-school learning. Epidemiology of cognitive development and behaviour problems. Early literacy. Emotion and cognition. Developmental neuroscience.

Aims:

  • To develop an understanding and critical appreciation of current approaches to individual differences and developmental psychology.
  • To examine the relationships between facets of individual differences, drawing on psychological approaches
  • To develop a critical awareness of ways in which the individual self/identity is conceptualised in different cultures & the implications for psychological theories of individual differences
  • To explore implications of psychological research and theory for the wider aims and methods of education and counselling
  • To develop an understanding and critical appreciation of current psychological approaches to human development, especially during the school years.

To review research on important topics in child development

  • To discuss the relevance of recent research in developmental psychology for practice
  • To explore implications of psychological research and theory for the wider aims and methods of education.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will demonstrate that they:

  • understand key concepts in current study of the psychology of individual differences and development
  • have developed skills in evaluation and interpretation of the psychology of individual differences and development
  • understand the importance of biological, social and psychological factors in individual differences and development
  • have explored the way in which different approaches to the psychology of individual differences and development relate to and complement each other
  • are able to differentiate between ways in which identity(ies) is/are constructed in different cultures
  • are able to critically interrogate claims about the psychology of individual differences and development in the psychological and educational literature
  • understand the implication of recent research on the psychology of individual differences and development for classroom practice
  • are able to evaluate the relevance of the psychology of individual differences and development for educational policy and innovation

Teaching details

The course will be delivered through whole group lectures and discussion led by research-active members of the Graduate School.

The needs of a wide range of students, including those with disabilities, international students and from ethnic minority backgrounds have been considered. It is not anticipated that the teaching and assessment methods used will cause disadvantage to any person taking the unit. The Graduate School of Education is happy to address individual support requests as necessary.

Assessment Details

An essay of 2000 words, or a research report. In negotiation with tutors, students will be expected to analyse relevant texts and synthesise concepts from the psychology of individual differences, make links/connections and recognise associations/relationships between these concepts, and draw upon current understanding of the psychology of individual differences. They will be expected to develop balanced arguments that reflect a multidisciplinary awareness and an ability to contextualise concepts, and draw appropriately upon a wide range of psychological evidence.

Reading and References

Bjorklund, D., and Pellegrini, A. (2002) The origins of human nature: evolutionary developmental psychology. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association

Caspi, A., Roberts, B.W., and. Shiner, R. L. (2005) Personality Development: Stability and Change, Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 56: 453-484

Greene, S., and Hogan, D. (2005) Researching children’s experience. SAGE

Meadows, S. (2006) The Child as Thinker. London: Routledge.

Meadows, S. (2010) The Child as Social Person. London: Routledge.

Wenar, C., and Kerig, P. (2006) Developmental psychopathology from infancy through adolescence. New York: McGraw-Hill

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