Instructor: Casey Lew-Williams
Description of Course Goals and CurriculumBabies, who look like helpless blobs, are capable of impressive feats of learning. Three-year-old children, who can’t tie their own shoes or cross the street alone, know an astounding amount of information about their environments. In this course, we will focus on landmark studies that elucidate how children’s biology, cognition, language, and social experiences interact to set the stage for what we do and who we are. Is the baby's world a “blooming, buzzing confusion” (as per William James), or do babies enter the world prepared to organize and make sense of human physical and social environments? How can we disentangle the contributions of nature and nurture, and then understand how they collaborate during development? What are the implications of early development for later life? These and many other questions will be addressed as we venture into children’s minds and lives. You will have a midterm and final exam, weekly blackboard and textbook readings, a journal article Dean's Date assignment, and two precept assignments. This class meets twice a week for 50 minute lectures, and meets once a week for a 50 minute precept.
Learning From Classroom InstructionYou learn most of the material that you will be tested on in lecture and in precept, so it is very important to attend all lectures and precepts to take notes. You discuss some readings and concepts in precept that are briefly mentioned in lecture.
Learning For and From AssignmentsYou are tested on material from textbook reading, so it is really important to read and take notes on the text book reading! You can also use the journal article assignment to explore an area of development that is interesting to you. The creative assignment, weekly multiple choice questions, and app assignment all help you apply what you've learned in class to new contexts.
External ResourcesSiegler, DeLoache, Eisenberg, & Saffran, How Children Develop (4th ed.), ISBN: 1429242310
What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course SelectionEverybody should take this course! Especially if you're interested in just taking one psych course to try it out. Casey is a great lecturer, and the material is really important for our understanding of human behavior.