University of Utah
Family & Consumer Studies/Psychology 122 "Psychology of Infancy &
Instructor: Dr. Marissa Diener, Assistant Professor, Family & Consumer
Office: 238 AEB
Quarters Taught: varies. (Spring 1997, Fall 1997)
Credit Hours: 4
This course is designed to introduce students to the field of human
development from conception through middle childhood. This course
emphasizes normal intellectual, physical, personality and social
development and the interrelations among these aspects of
development. We also examine how various ecological systems
influence development. Service learning students will volunteer
their services in various placements that provide direct interaction
with children, either tutoring or supervising their play activities.
- Students in the class provide a needed service. Students contract
with one of several community agencies serving high risk children
who are in need of volunteers: e.g., the Homeless Shelter Playroom,
Neighborhood House, and Salt Lake City Housing Authority. The
services requested by these agencies include tutoring small groups of
children or tutoring individually, interacting with children,
supervising children's play activities, and planning and implementing
activities with children. Contracts stipulate the description of
duties to be performed, hours of commitment and expectations for
- The service experience relates to the subject matter of the
course. Students will be volunteering in placements that allow them
to have first hand experience and interaction with children. These
experiences will allow them to apply what they learn about cognitive,
social and personality development to real world children. Students
will be encouraged to evaluate whether what they observe is consistent
or inconsistent with what they have learned in class. If it is
inconsistent with what they have learned in class, they will try to
understand what factors might account for this inconsistency. Students
who volunteer by tutoring children for the SLC Housing Authority
will be able to observe how children learn and follow the
developmental progression of knowledge over a 10 week period. They
will be able to implement various learning techniques and strategies
and see whether these strategies are effective. Students
volunteering at the Homeless shelter playroom will have the
opportunity to observe developmental differences in children ranging
in age from three to eight years. They will also be able to observe
social interactions between peers, prosocial behavior, and individual
differences in personality and personality development. Students
volunteering at Neighborhood House will have opportunities to plan
and implement creative activities with children.
- Activities in the class provide methods for students to think
about what they learned through the service experience and how these
learnings related to the subject o the class. Students will be given
several assignments to help them reflect on their service
experience. First of all, they will be required to write weekly
journal reflections on their experiences, using a set of questions I
provide as a guide. Students will be encouraged to apply course
material to their experiences. These journals will be collected
three times throughout the quarter and be evaluated by the
instructor. Secondly, students will write a final reflection paper
on their experiences and what they have learned from them at the end
of the qual ter. In class reflection sessions will be conducted at
various times throughout the quarter. These reflection sessions
will include various techniques, such as one minute papers, small
group discussions and large group discussions. Finally, students will
be encouraged to share their experiences with the class and reflect
upon them whenever relevant course material is presented.
- The course offers a method to assess the learning derived. from
the service. Credit is given for the learning and its relation to
the course, not for the service alone. Journals will be collected
three times throughout the quarter and are worth 23% of the
students' grades. Students will also write a final reflection paper
on their experience, which will be worth 12% of their grade. The
service agency will provide a written evaluation of the students'
performance at the end of the quarter, which will account for 4% of
their grade. Attendance and participation in class discussions and
reflections will also account for a small portion of their grade.
- Service interactions in the community recognize the needs of
service recipients and offer an opportunity for recipients to be
involved in the evaluation of the service. The instructor has met
with each of the service agencies to discuss their needs for
service. Evaluations of the students' service will be provided by
each of the agency supervisors at the end of the quarter. hi
addition, the instructor will contact each placement representative
in order to discuss the issues, benefits, and problems or concerns at
the end of the quarter. Supervisors and students will be encouraged
to contact the instructor if any problems arise.
- The service opportunities are aimed at the development of the
civic education of students. The questions provided to guide the
journal reflections include items on how and what the students have
contributed to the community, why they should contribute, etc. They
also include questions regarding the role of service in affecting
children's developmental outcomes. In class reflection sessions will
include discussing the role community services play in protecting at
risk children from poor developmental outcomes. The final reflection
paper will encourage students to examine how their service learning
experience has changed their outlook on at risk children and the role
the community plays in supporting or failing to support optimal
development in at risk children.
- Knowledge from the discipline informs the service experiences
with which the students are involved. The students will take what they
have learned about human development and apply it to their direct
interactions with children. For example, they will take what they
have learned about cognitive development and the nature of learning
and apply it to tutoring children. Or they might take what they know
about how children of different ages vary in social interactions,
and use that knowledge to inform how they interact with those
children. They may be able to provide sensitive care giving because
they understand the needs of children of various ages.
- The class offers a way to learn from other class members as well
as from the instructor. In class reflection sessions and general
discussions during each class period will allow students to share
their experiences based on interaction with different children and
different service placements. Small group discussions during
reflection sessions will permit students to learn from others'
experiences. Because students will be participating in a variety of
different service placements, they will have varied experiences. For
example, students participating in the tutoring placement will be
called on to contribute to the discussion on cognitive development,
whereas children tutoring in the homeless shelter will be called on
to contribute to the discussion on social interactions and age
- Course options ensure that no student is required to participate
in a service placement that creates a religious, political, and/or
moral conflict for the students. Students have a choice in service
placements, so they are able to choose one that will not create a
conflict for them. If all of the agencies create a conflict for the
student, the student has the option of not participating in the
service learning option. These students will complete an application
paper and research paper instead. These options art clearly stated
in the course syllabus and reviewed on the first day of class.
Textbook: Dworetzky, J. P. (1996). Introduction--to Child
Development. New York: West Publishing Company. This text is
available at the University bookstore.
The primary goal of this course is to introduce students to the
field of human development from conception through middle childhood.
This course emphasizes normal physical, cognitive, and social
development and the interrelations among these aspects of
development. We will also examine how various ecological systems
influence development. This course will encourage you to critically
examine both your personal experiences and the empirical literature
on human development. Given the emphasis on research, we will be in
the course by becoming familiar with research methodology. Course
Requirements: 1. Class participation and attendance. If you miss
class, you are responsible for finding out what you missed (including
announcements and lecture material). You will get more out of
the class if you attend class, and I have found that this is
Generally reflected in students' grades.
2. There will be two non-cumulative exams. Each exam will be worth
75 points and will consist of multiple choice, short answer, and
essay questions. The second non- cumulative exam will be on the
scheduled final exam date. Exams will cover lecture material as
well as assigned readings (even if they are not discussed in class).
3 . Written assignments will be worth 100 points total. The nature
of these assignments will vary depending upon whether you take the
service learning option or not. These options are discussed in more
detail at the end of the syllabus.
The following is a break down of the points for the semester:
Participation & Attendance 10
Two Exams (75 points each) 150
Two Papers OR
Service Learning Journal,
Final Reflection Paper & Evaluation 100
- - -
Total possible: 260
Final grades will be assigned on the basis of percentage of total
number of points achieved during the quarter. For example, an A grade
will require 94% of 260 points = 244 points.
Important Information to Note:
- You must notify me before the scheduled exam it' you need to take
a make-up exam. I will not grant a make up exam if you do not make
arrangements with me beforehand. Please check your schedules at
the beginning of the semester and see me as soon as possible if you
anticipate needing to reschedule an exam.
*1 am happy to make special accommodations for persons with
disabilities if so needed. If you need special accommodations,
please let me know as soon as possible. I will need written
documentation of the disability, which can be obtained at the Center
for Disabled Student Services, 160 Union Building, 581-5020.
*There will be NO extra-credit opportunities. If I offer an extra
assignment to one student, it is only fair that I offer it to all
other students, in which case it becomes a regular course
assignment, rather than something "extra". So. spend your time
doing the assigned readings, working on the papers and studying for
exams. Keep up with the readmit and turn assignments in on time.
- Get to know the other students in class. You can learn a lot
from other students, but you have to talk to them and participate in
class in order to do this. Talk to me informally, especially if you
are confused about anything. Don't be afraid to speak up in class.
I don't bite and am anxious for you to met the maximum possible out
of the course.
*You may drop this course without penalty or permission through
Sunday, April 6th. You may withdraw from this course from April 7th
through April 11th without paying tuition for it. although a "W"
grade will be recorded on your transcript. You may withdraw from
the course without instructor permission from April 14th through May
Th, although tuition will be assessed and a "W" grade will be
recorded on your transcript. You may not withdraw from this course
after May Th. You may take an incomplete only if you can not finish
the course because of circumstances beyond your control. You may
not take an incomplete because you are doing poorly in the class.
*The exact schedule of reading and topics covered in class may
change. You are responsible for being aware of these schedule
changes, which I will announce during class. The exam dates will not
- Grading for this course will be blind. Please identify yourself
on your exams and papers with a fake name (e.g., "Brad Pitt") only.
Write this fake name down somewhere so that you remember it.
- You will lose three points per day for papers turned in late.
Papers are due IN CLASS on the day on which they are due. If you
have to turn in an assignment late, take it to the front office in
Family & Consumer Studies, Rm. 228 (between 8 AM and 5 PM). They
will write a receipt indicating the time and day that it was
received. Do not put late assignments under my door - they may get
lost, and you will have no proof of the day you turned it in.
It is the policy of Family & Consumer Studies that if you miss 2
class periods during the first week of the quarter, your place in the
class will be forfeited. You will then be responsible to drop
or withdraw from the class or receive an E/U on your transcript.
Week 1, 4/1 Introduction to Class & Child
Service Learning Orientations on 4/3
Week 2, 4/8 & 4/10 Genetics & Biological Foundations
Conception, Prenatal Development
Week 3, 4/15 & 4/17 Growth, Plasticity & indiv. Differences
Week 4, 4/22 & 4/24 Infant Perceptual Development
Paper #1 Due on 4/24 Non-Service
Service Learning Journals Due
Week 5. 4/29 & 511 Infant Socioemotional Development
Week 6, 5/6 & 5/8 Language Development
EXAM #1 on 5/8
Week 7, 5113 & 5115 Cognitive Development I
Cognitive Development II
Service Learning Journals Due
Week 8, 5/20 & 5/22 Intelligence & Creativity
Socialization & Personality Dev.
Week 9, 5/27 & 5/29 Sexuality & Sex Roles
Peers, School & Social Environment
Service Learning Journals
PAPER #2 DUE on 5/29 -
Week 10, 6/3 & 6/5 Morality & Self-Control
Final Reflection Paper Due 6/3
FINAL EXAM FINAL EXAM ON TUES., JUNE 10th, 2:15 - 4:15
SERVICE LEARNING OPTION
Students taking this course have the option to complete community
service and receive service learning credit for this course. If your
schedule permits, I strongly encourage you to take this option. It
will enhance both your and the other students' experience in the
classroom, provide a needed service, and affect your sense of civic
What is service learning?
Service learning is a method by which students learn through active
participation in thoughtfully organized service in the community.
Service learning allows you to provide a needed service in the
community and integrate these experiences through reflection with
what you learn in the classroom. Service learning enhances the
classroom experience through experiential learning - you will gain
hands on experience interacting with children.
What does the service learning option entail?
The service learning option requires that you commit three hours per
week to one of several community service projects. These projects
will enable you to main hands on experience with children.
Representatives from several of the service organizations will be
attending class on the first day to explain their service options. If
a representative is unable to attend our class, I will explain the
service placement and provide brochures or other literature and a
description of the service experience. You may sign up for these
service placements at the end of the first class period. You will
need to attend an orientation before you begin the service.
You receive credit for what you learn from the service and how you
relate what you learn to the subject of the class. You do not receive
credit for the service alone. Thus, in addition to providing the
service, you will be required to reflect on the service through a
weekly journal and a final reflection paper. These reflections
will help you connect the service experience to the course material.
We will also take time for reflection and sharing experiences in
class. In addition, the service organization will be evaluating
your service at the end of the quarter. The following is a breakdown
of points for each of these components:
Weekly Journals/Documentation of Service 60 points
Final Reflection Paper 30 points
Service Evaluation 10 points
NON-SERVICE LEARNING OPTION
If you are unable to do the service learning option, you will be
required to write two papers (approximately 5-7 pages each) for this
course. Each paper will be worth 50 points. One paper is designed to
make you think about and apply the course material to real life, and
the other is a research-based paper.
I. Salt Lake City Housing Authority Tutoring Locations Vary.
Volunteer Coordinator - Sima Vaghti, 284-4404. Tutoring children.
2. Homeless Shelter Playroom. 210 South Rio Grande Street.
Volunteer Coordinator - JoLynn Spruance - -521-8801. Interacting with
children ages 3 through 8 years. Flexible times.
3. Neighborhood House Child Care Center. 1050 West. 500 South.
Volunteer Coordinator - Holly Tetlow, 363-4589. Day care center and
after school care for low income families. Subsidized by United Way.
Several different opportunities available:
- Nursery School - M-F, 6:30AM - 9:30 AM; 10:00 -12:30, or 3:00 -
5:30 (these times are flexible & could be changed, but no afternoons
from 12:45-2:45 because that is nap time)-, play with children, plan
and implement activities. Some challenging and special needs
children. Ages range from 2 years to 5 years.
- School Age Children - M-TH, 4:00 - 5:30@ Friday afternoon 1-5:30.
Interact with children, implement and plan activities. Ages range
from 6 years to 12 years.
- Literacy Program - involving book lending, planning reading
activities, etc.; Tues. & Thurs. 4:00 - 5:30.
- YWCA. 322 East, 300 South.
Volunteer Coordinator Lynne McCue-Hamilton, 355-2804.
Several different opportunities available:
- YWCA Day Care/Play Center - M thru W & Friday from 8:30 to 12:30
AM (times are approximate) - involves holding infants and interacting
with infants, toddlers and children from newborns to age 5 years.
Number of children will vary. Need background check, volunteer
application, volunteer orientation, and to join the YWCA ($25 but
will waive if can't afford). Out of state students will have to pay
for fees associated with background check (ranges from $10 to $35).
- Battered Women's Shelter. Help with check-ins, donations, learn
about entire BW shelter. Will include less direct interaction with
- Pool - Help with special needs swimming classes. Students from
local elementary schools with special needs, either physical, mental,