Human Development

Course Number: PSY 215
Transcript Title: Human Development
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: August 15, 2019
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: Yes
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0


MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121.


PSY 201A or PSY 202A

Course Description

Surveys major developmental theories and patterns of change and continuity from birth to death in human subjects. Emphasizes biological, cognitive, and emotional development through the lifespan. Examines cultural influences on development. Recommended: PSY 201A or 202A. Prerequisites: MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Prerequisite/concurrent: WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Students should be able to:

  1. Utilize knowledge of variables that influence development throughout the life span and apply this knowledge to become more effective parents, professionals, and citizens of the global community.
  2. Relate the scientific knowledge of development from conception to death including the biological, emotional, cognitive, and psychosocial influences in order to make effective personal and professional decisions.
  3. Evaluate research using a multidisciplinary view of development that includes cross-cultural perspectives.
  4. Apply critical thinking to analyze and problem solve the developmental concerns from birth to death.
  5. Utilize knowledge of prenatal and child development, cognitive foundations of intelligence, and emotional development throughout the lifespan to evaluate and improve human potential.

Alignment with Institutional Core Learning Outcomes

Major 1. Communicate effectively using appropriate reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. (Communication)


2. Creatively solve problems by using relevant methods of research, personal reflection, reasoning, and evaluation of information. (Critical thinking and Problem-Solving)

Not addressed

3. Extract, interpret, evaluate, communicate, and apply quantitative information and methods to solve problems, evaluate claims, and support decisions in their academic, professional and private lives. (Quantitative Literacy)


4. Use an understanding of cultural differences to constructively address issues that arise in the workplace and community. (Cultural Awareness)


5. Recognize the consequences of human activity upon our social and natural world. (Community and Environmental Responsibility)

To establish an intentional learning environment, Core Learning Outcomes (CLOs) require a clear definition of instructional strategies, evidence of recurrent instruction, and employment of several assessment modes.

Major Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed recurrently in the curriculum, regularly enough to establish a thorough understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a thorough understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Minor Designation

  1. The outcome is addressed adequately in the curriculum, establishing fundamental understanding.
  2. Students can demonstrate and are assessed on a fundamental understanding of the outcome.
    • The course includes at least one assignment that can be assessed by applying the appropriate CLO rubric.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students may demonstrate learning outcomes by any or all of the following:

  1. Individual or in-group class presentations pertaining to the applications of concepts, theories or issues in human development.
  2. Design and complete a research project that can take the form of a developmental interview, an observation or assessment through service learning.
  3. First hand observation of children of all ages in the classroom, at home, or at a daycare, to identify patterns of growth and development.
  4. Interviews or observations of adolescents or adults to identify patterns of growth and development.
  5. Develop and maintain a Reflection Journal.
  6. Scores obtained from essay and or objective tests.
  7. Attendance, classroom participation, small group interactions.
  8. Research and write about relevant topics.

Course Activities and Design

The determination of teaching strategies used in the delivery of outcomes is generally left to the discretion of the instructor. Here are some strategies that you might consider when designing your course: lecture, small group/forum discussion, flipped classroom, dyads, oral presentation, role play, simulation scenarios, group projects, service learning projects, hands-on lab, peer review/workshops, cooperative learning (jigsaw, fishbowl), inquiry based instruction, differentiated instruction (learning centers), graphic organizers, etc.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Issues in human development:

  1. Nature versus Nurture issue in human development.
  2. Continuity versus Discontinuity in human development.
  3. Universal versus Context-specific development issue.

Developmental Theories:

  1. Grand or Major Theories including psychodynamic theories, learning theories, and cognitive developmental theory.
  2. Emergent Theories including ecological, socio-cultural, and epigenetic theories.

Research Methods in Human Development:

  1. Experimental
  2. Correlational
  3. Case studies
  4. Observation
  5. Surveys
  6. Designs: longitudinal, cross-sectional, and cross sequential.

Development covered from a chronological, a topical or mixed approach to development including:

  1. Prenatal development and infancy
  2. Early childhood
  3. Middle childhood
  4. Adolescence
  5. Young adulthood
  6. Middle adulthood
  7. Late adulthood
  8. Death

Areas of course content include, and are not limited to:

  1. Physical, intellectual, cognitive, social, and personality development, ethnicity, diversity, gender, age, ability and sexual orientation.

Competencies and skills

  1. Application and analysis of principles of development advanced by developmental theorists such as Piaget, Kohlberg, Erikson, Vygotsky, and others.
  2. Demonstration of critical thinking, writing skills, and oral communication as relevant to human development.
  3. Compare, analyze, and contrast various theoretical approaches.
  4. Identify recent research and findings in the field of human development and be able to assess their validity.
  5. Apply and interpret research methods.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of the life cycle.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of the facts about growth and development.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of the contexts of development including families, societies, and the cultures in which children grow.
  9. Recognize the principles of ageism including prejudices about children, adolescents, adults, and the aged.
  10. Demonstrate a greater understanding of and empathy for the concerns of the aged.
  11. Become more aware of individual and cultural expectations of behavior.
  12. Indicate a greater understanding and sensitivity of cross-cultural diversity in human development.
  13. Identify and analyze the major factors involved in preparing for death, the act of death, the process of dying, and grieving.