University of Utah
Psychology 322
Developmental Psychology: Infancy and Childhood
Wendy Haight
Winter Quarter, 1995

This course is designed for psychology majors. It covers the same subject matter as Psychology 122, except that it focuses more on research, offers more depth on the subject and provides the opportunity for actually working with children. There are two components to this course. The first component focuses on required readings from the textbook. Through readings and class discussions we will trace the development of the child from conception through middle childhood. We will discuss basic concepts, findings, and research techniques in developmental psychology; examine the major theories regarding child development; and consider practical applications, The second component of the course involves public service and readings from primary sources. You will be involved in working with children in a cultural community different from your own. Among the options include participating at a computer club for African American children, or tutoring homeless children. Within the past decade developmental psychologists have become increasingly aware of the need to diversify our study of childhood. Through selected readings, discussions and our own experiences in the community we will begin to consider various sources of competence and diverse developmental pathways.

Texts and Readings

Cole & Cole (1993). _The Development of Children, 2nd Ed_.

Heath. (1983). _Ways with Words: Language, Life and Word in Communities and Classrooms._

Haight & Miller (1993). _ Pretending at Home: Early Development in a Sociocultural Context._

Supplementary Readings:

Selected articles as noted in the syllabus.

The texts are available in the bookstore and copies are on reserve in the library. We will spend the greatest portion of our time reading the Cole & Cole and Heath. Cole and Cole should be read in detail. Copies of the articles are on reserve in the library. Although I expect all of you to complete some portion of these readings for each class, I do not expect you to read every article for detail. My intent is to introduce you to a variety of materials, and to provide an opportunity for you to pursue in greater depth a topic of personal interest. Students are expected to read the assignments for each day prior to class. Class lectures, discussions and exercises will build upon, not duplicate, the reading.

Public Service

You will be expected to serve within the community for 8 hours over the duration of the quarter. Yvette will assist you in locating an appropriate field placement within a cultural community that is not your own by Wednesday, January 18th.

Assignments and Grading

Grades are based upon performance on two essay exams, a journal, an annotated bibliography, and your participation in, and preparation for, class discussions.

Exams (30% each). There will be two take home essay exams. Each exam contributes 30% towards your final grade. You will have two weeks to work on them. These exams will include mini projects (e.g., to assess and facilitate your understanding of "theory" on the first exam, you will be asked to look up an article in a popular magazine and discuss the implicit theoretical orientation of the author). You may consult your notes, books and other students, but the final write-up must be your own. Your exam grade will be based on your demonstrated grasp of basic concepts, critical thinking, extension of basic concepts and presentation (e.g., spelling and grammar).

Dialogue Journals (15%). You will also keep a journal in which you record your observations, impressions, questions and reflections on your experiences within the community and related readings. Keeping a dialogue journal will help you integrate your service learning experience with classroom activities, text and cultural diversity readings. we class it a dialogue journal because the TA will write comments on it to you about your entries.

You are expected to complete a journal entry after each field work experience. You may also make entries related to supplementary readings and activities, and class discussions of service learning experiences.

You are required to make 6 entries, but feel free to make more if you like.

Please structure your entries to include the following:

  1. Date
  2. Description of the event, i.e., what you did, specific observations of interactions between the children, you and the children, or other adults and the children.
  3. Personal reaction, i.e., what you felt, thought, experienced or learned. This is the most important part of the entry. Be detailed and descriptive.
  4. Integration and generalization, i.e., how did your experience relate to class readings, discussions, your field of study, future occupation, parenting or public policy. This section can be hard to write, especially during the first weeks of the quarter, but push yourself to make connections.

It is important that you express honest feelings in your journal about your experiences. To facilitate your honest writing, your journals will not be graded, and they will be read by the TA. The content of your entries per se does not affect your journal grade. To get full credit for the journal (as A), you need to make the required number of entries, and make thoughtful, descriptive entries. You must turn in a journal to complete the course.

Annotated bibloigraphy (10%). The purpose of this assignment is to allow you to pursue literature related to your field placement. Go to the library and do a literature search, e.g., the development of African American children. Choose 5 articles to read and summarize for your bibliography. Each entry in your bibliography should include the reference (APA style) and a 3-5 sentence summary of the research questions, methods and findings.

Class Participation (15%). Class will follow a discussion format. For this type of format to be successful, it is essential that you come to class, be prepared to discuss materials, and to contribute to, but not monopolize, the discussion. To help you keep up with and focus your readings, discussion questions for the upcoming week will be distributed each Wednesday. Your attendance at class and quality of participation will be noted. On occasion, in-class exercises will be completed and recorded.

Syllabus for Psychology 322

Introduction to the course Week 1:

January 4 Introduction and discussion of course materials and assignments assignments

Theory and research in child development

Week 2:
January 9 Central questions and methods of developmental psychology.

Chapter 1. The study of human development

January 11 The role of diversity in understanding child development

Spencer, H.B. (1990) Development of minority children:An introduction, _Child Development 61_ 267-269.

Heath. Prologue, Chapters 1-2.

Tatum, B. Talking about race, learning about racism The application of racial identity development in the classroom

week 3:

January 16 (No class: Martin Luther King birthday observance

January 18 Early infancy.
Chapter 4

Research Video: maternal reactions to newborns and the prevention of child abuse


week 4:

January 23 The achievement of the first year

Chapter 5

January 25 The end of infancy

Chapter 6


Week 5:
January 30 Pretend play

Haight and Miller
February 1 Early experiences and later life.

Chapter 7

Early Childhood

Week 6:
February 6 Language acquisition

Chapter 8

February 8~Language acquisition continued

Heath Chapters 3-5.


Week 7:
February 13 Cognitive development in early childhood

Chapter 9

February 15 Social development in early childhood

Chapter 10

Week 8:

February 20 (No class: Presidents Day holiday.) February 22 Contexts of early childhood development

                            Chapter 11
         Elder, G. Household, kinship and the life course:
         Perspectives on Black families and children

                             Heath chapter 6 and 7
         Observation in university preschool


Middle Childhood

Week 9:
February 27 Cognitive and biological attainments

Chapter 12

March 1 Schooling and development

            Chapter 13
             Ogbu, J. A cultural ecology of competence among inner-city Blacks

           Hare, B. & Castenell, L. No place to run no place to hide: 

comparative status and future prospects of Black boys.

Week 10:

March 6 social relations

Chapter 14

March 8 Public policy

1994 Key facts about children in Utah: Children and families at risk ...

Heath chapters 8-Epilogue

Allen, W., Spencer, M. and Brookins, G. Synthesis: Black children keep on growing


Discussion Ouestions

Week 2

  1. Why are developmental theories important?
  2. Cole and Cole outline a number of important theoretical frameworks including biological-maturation (e.g., Gesell), envirorimental-learning (e.g., Watson, Skinner), universal-constructivist (e.g., Piaget), and cultural-context (e.g., Vygotsky). How do each of these theories account for development?
  3. Cole and Cole discuss three central questions of developmental psychology (pg. 7). What are these questions and how might a scholar from each of the four theoretical frameworks respond?
  4. Why do you (as an educator, clinician, social worker or parent) need to understand developmental research strategies?
  5. What are the four general criteria psychologists use to judge the quality of their research findings? Can you think.of other important criteria for good research?
  6. There are a number of common methods for studying children, What are the strengths and weaknesses of self-reports, naturalistic observations, experiments, and clinical interviews?
  7. Developmental research, using any of the above methods, is designed to reveal change over time. There are two basic research designs in developmental research: longitudinal and cross-sectional. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these designs?
  8. Why is the study of minority children theoretically and practically important?


Below is a tentative list of volunteer opportunities involving children in Salt Lake City. You may choose from one of these projects or design your own from similar organizations. Please come to class on Monday, January 9 prepared to sign up for a volunteer activity that you will commit to throughout the quarter.

JACKSON ELEMENTARY Project: Tutoring and English as a Second Language Description: Students will work one on one with children grades K-6 from various cultural backgrounds, including Tongan, Vietnamese, African, Hispanic and Native American. Activities will involve tutoring in English language comprehension and helping with homework assignments. One hour per week. Hours are flexible according to volunteer's schedule. Goals: Volunteers to provide positive role models to students and learn from the various cultural perspectives of the children.

Salt Lake Boys and Girls Club

  1. Project: "Girls With A Voice" Description: Participating in activities and field trips for girls ages I I - 1 6 that focus on issues of self-esteem, stress management, careers, rape, sexuality, etc. 2 hours per week on Mondays or Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm. Goals: Expose students to the influence of gender and culture in creating a unified group. Encourage positive, mentor relationships between girls and volunteers.
  2. Project: "Power Hour" Description: Tutoring children, mainly from the Guadeloupe neighborhood, in academic subjects and helping with homework assignments. 1 to 2 hours per week. Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-6pm. Goals: Provide children with a positive role model and learn from their experiences as low-income youths.

TRAVELER' S AID HOMELESS SHELTER 1) Project: Homeless Shelter School Tutoring Description: Tutor homeless children grades K-8 in various homework assigments. One to two hours per week between the hours of 9am to 2pm,

2) Project: Homeless Shelter Youth Description: Supervise homeless children in the playroom after school hours. 2 hours weekly. Monday-Friday 3:30-5:30pm. Goals for Both Projects: Expose students to the experience of homelessness through interaction with homeless children. Help the children learn to interact socially and provide positive role models.


Project: Junior Jazz Description: Coach Hispanic children ages 6-12 in basketball. Attend practices and games. 3 hours per week. Mondays 5-9pm.


Project: Computer Club Description: Interact with African-American children during computer club. 2 hours per week. Saturdays 1-3pm. Goals: Provide role models and positive experience within "academic" setting.


Project: Child Life Center Description: Interact with hospitalized children in the playroom. Goals: Provide support to children who are suffering from physical illnesses.

Date: Thu, 28 Dec 1995 11:37:41 MST
From: Renee Buchanan <