University of Utah
Psychology/Family & Consumer Studies 122
Beginning Fall, 1996
Melissa McDonald
Graduate Instructor, Psychology
Phone: 801-581-8081

Course title: Psychology of Infancy and Childhood

Intellectual, social and emotional development during childhood. The service component will consist of volunteer work f or 3 hours per week with a community agency that provides services for children (schools, treatment, etc.) . Students should work with the same child or small group of children for the entire quarter. Journal entries of their observations, experiences, and connections to the textbook/lecture course material will be made each week and turned in three times during the quarter; a refections group for students at each agency will be held approximately bi-weekly. Possible agencies include: Head-Start, Boy's and Girl's Club, Project Hope Schools (Mountain View, Lincoln and Jackson Elementary).


(1) NEEDED SERVICE: Students will provide services to children in one agency, for example, at Head Start, Project Hope elementary schools, and the Boy's and Girl's clubs.

(2) SERVICE-SUBJECT MATTER RELATION: The course is a survey course focusing on development from conception through late childhood. Children receiving services will be in the appropriate age range to allow students to see developmental principles in several areas: intellectual, emotional, and social.

(3) CLASS CONTEMPLATES LEARNING THROUGH SERVICE: Students will be required to keep a weekly journal which details their relevant observations of children and interventions, their own development and experiences, and connections to course material. In addition, four to five refection sessions (approximately bi-weekly) will be conducted by the teaching assistant who will have special training from the Bennion Center staff in facilitating these sessions and the instructor. There will also be at least one class period devoted to the entire class discussing what they have learned from their experiences during the quarter. Over the course of the quarter, the student's experiences with children of various ages and developmental levels will be tied to the lecture material as appropriate.

(4) CREDIT/ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING THROUGH SERVICE: Learning derived from participation in service and reflection groups and journals are worth 100 points out of approximately 400 possible. The remainder of the course grade is examinations and mini-essay.

(5) SERVICE RECIPIENTS EVALUATE SERVICE: Agency representatives will be asked to provide feedback on each student's service at various times during the quarter.

(6) SERVICE DEVELOPS CIVIC EDUCATION: The weekly journal entries will include an opportunity for the student to reflect on how the service activity may affect their attitudes about child development, contexts of child development and the role of community agencies serving children with differing needs. Students will also be asked to rate their experience in the journals and at reflection groups. Students will also respond to relevant social topics such as issues surrounding day care, violence in the media, and the effects of divorce and poverty on child development in their journals and refection sessions based on their experiences. Reflection groups will also focus on how the skills the students learn in this class and this service participation are applicable and transferable to other volunteer opportunities and other service.

(7) KNOWLEDGE ENHANCES SERVICE: Working directly with the same child, or same small group, will provide the students with an opportunity to understand development at an individual level. The course will cover topics such as peer relations, children's capacity to understand ideas, etc., that will contribute to the student's understanding of these children, what is developmentally appropriate for the children, and enhance the students, capacities to provide help appropriate to the needs of the children.

(8) LEARNING FROM OTHER CLASS MEMBERS: Students will meet together in reflection sessions and learn from each other in that forum; also, some class time will be devoted to hearing from the different refection groups and all students so each student will learn from class members who participated in different activities.

Course Objectives:

The goal of this course is to build your understanding and appreciation, not only of child development, but also human development. Most of all, though, I hope that you complete the course with a deep awareness of the complexity of human beings and the many factors which help to make us what we are. After completing all of the assignments in this course, you should be able to:

  1. Recognize genetic, biological, environmental, and sociocultural influences on human development.
  2. Identify and discuss some of the most important aspects of normal physical, mental, and personality development.
  3. Describe and apply the diverse approaches in child development research and theory.
  4. Demonstrate objectivity toward issues, theories, and orientations in child development.


The Development of Children by Michael Cole and Sheila Cole, 1993, 2nd edition, Scientific American Books.

Grades: Final grades will be based on exams (300 points total) , written assignments (about 30 points) , and your research paper or service learning activity (100 points) . Final grades will be assigned based on the percent of total points earned (93-10OW = Al 90-92W = A-, etc.) . ALL EXAMINATIONS AND ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE COMPLETED; the consequence of missing an exam will be a failing grade; the consequence of a missing min-essay will be approximately 1/3 of a letter grade (e.g., A- to B+) .

The course format will involve lectures, films, assigned readings, and activities directed at issues of child development.

Exams: There will be three one-hour exams. Each exam will consist of multiple-choice and essay questions. Exams are each worth 100 points and will not be comprehensive. The exam will cover topics from the assigned readings and the material from the textbook and lectures. Study-guides will be available for each exam that cover the material from the textbook you are required to know for the exam. If you can answer these questions and you understand the lecture material, you should do very well on the exams.

If you wish to appeal any exam grade, such requests must be made in writing, explaining why a higher grade should be given. This request must be made within a week of the return of the exam.

If a student has to miss one of the scheduled exams, he or she must inform me at least one day in advance. Make-up tests will be given only in the case of documented illness or sudden personal emergency.

If you have missed an exam, you must take the final; which will be comprehensive. The final will count the same as a regular exam (100 points). You may elect to take the final to replace one of your exam scores.

Assignments: Several (approximately 4) short activities will be given; each assignment will be worth up to 10 points. Each must be submitted on the assigned date or no credit will be given; the lowest score of one missing will be dropped to provide you some flexibility. The activities are designed to stimulate class discussion and to illustrate a point made in the readings or lecture. The activities will be handed out during class and will be due the following week at the beginning of class. NO LATE ACTIVITIES WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Service-Learning Report or Research Paper: Each student will be required to develop his/her knowledge of children through: a)writing a term paper OR b) learning through participating in a service-learning experience at a community agency. This requirement will count 100 points toward the final grade.

The paper should be researched at one or more of the University libraries on one specific topic to be chosen from several to be assigned soon, e.g., evaluating day care centers for quality, the impact of divorce on children, the impact of teen pregnancy on children, etc. Starter materials for each topic will be available at the Marriott Library at the Reserve Desk. There are 3 steps, each required, for preparing the paper: 1) On or before 10/16, you must submit a 1 page report indicating your topic and summarizing one of the articles in the relevant file. 2) On or before 11/13, you must submit a 1-2 page report that states the specific theme of your report, 3 specific references that you have found through the library, and a general outline of your paper. 3) On or before 12/3, you must submit the final paper of about 12-15 double-spaced pages. This paper should meet the normal term paper requirements of introduction, body and conclusion. References should be cited in the text and alphabetized at the end in the manner used in the textbook. The paper will graded based on the quality of material obtained, the proper organization of the paper, and the clarity of the writing.

The service-learning experience will take place through one of the following community agencies: a) Head Start; b) a local elementary school; c) the Boy's and Girls's Club; d) others as announced. You will be required to spend 21 hours during the quarter, at approximately 3 hours per week for 7 of the 10+ weeks, which should be scheduled at a consistent time each week so you can work with the same child or group each week. You will be expected to attend an orientation for the specific agency early in the quarter and to participate in 4 reflection groups (30-60 minutes each) during the quarter. You will be required to keep a weekly journal of your experiences and to turn in the journal on three occasions (10/16,11/13,12/3) . Your grade on this experiences will be based on your completion of the required (at least 21) hours at the agency, the quality of your journal in terms of your providing a specific report of what you observed and learned, and your active participation in reflection groups. Presumably each week will generate about 1-2 pages in your journal. Specific guidelines and suggestions for journal entries will be handed out in class soon.


Extra Credit: Extra credit opportunities will be handed out at various times through the quarter. If you satisfactorily complete one of these options, your final grade can be raised one notch, for example from a B- to a B or B+ to A-.

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 10:32:43 MST
From: Renee Buchanan <