University of Utah

Family & Consumer Studies/Psychology 122 "Psychology of Infancy & Childhood"
Instructor: Dr. Marissa Diener, Assistant Professor, Family & Consumer Studies
Office: 238 AEB
Phone: (801)581-8750

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.

  1. 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 behavior.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 differences.
  9. 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.

Course Objectives:

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:

*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.

*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 change.

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.

Course Schedule

Date Topic

 Week 1, 4/1               Introduction to Class & Child
                           Service Learning Orientations on 4/3
 Week 2, 4/8 & 4/10      Genetics & Biological Foundations
                                  of Development-I
                           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 



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 responsibility.

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
                                                                 100 points


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Literacy Program - involving book lending, planning reading activities, etc.; Tues. & Thurs. 4:00 - 5:30.
  4. YWCA. 322 East, 300 South.

    Volunteer Coordinator Lynne McCue-Hamilton, 355-2804. Several different opportunities available:

  5. 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).
  6. Battered Women's Shelter. Help with check-ins, donations, learn about entire BW shelter. Will include less direct interaction with children.
  7. Pool - Help with special needs swimming classes. Students from local elementary schools with special needs, either physical, mental, or emotional.
Date: Thu, 1 May 1997 10:25:58 MST
From: Renee Buchanan <> Subject: Psych 122 -Diener