College of Education
Valdosta State University
Department of Psychology & Counseling
Course Syllabus

PSYC 2700
Human Growth and Development

Materials Prepared by:

Required Texts:

Catalog Course Description:


  1. Define and differentiate among the research methods used in human growth and development, including cross-sectional, longitudinal and sequential designs. The student should also be able to define the major techniques used in descriptive statistics and the elements of basic experimental designs used in the study of developmental psychology.
  2. Name and describe the following theories of development:
    a. Piaget's theory of intellectual development;
    b. Erickson's psychosocial theory of personality;
    c. maturational theory/stages (Gessell);
    d. Kohlberg's theory of moral development;
    e. behavioral and social learning theories; and
    f. others
  3. List and describe the major stages of human growth and development.
  4. State appropriate behavioral expectations and developmental tasks associated with each major stage of development.
  5. State and discuss (pro and con) the basic issues of the nature/nurture controversies.

Human Growth & Development introduces preservice educators, nursing students and others to lifespan development. During the semester students will become knowledgeable with the major theories of development that have been empirically studied.

Topics covered include:

I.       Developmental theories, research methods, and history (Chapter l);

II.      Biology of development
         A. Biological basis of Development (Chapter 2)
         B. Prenatal Development (Chapter 3)

III.     Infancy and toddlerhood
        A. Overview (Chapter 4)
        B. Cognitive Development (Chapter 5)
        C. Emotional and Social Development (Chapter 6)

IV.    Early childhood
        A. Physical and Cognitive Development (Chapter 7)
        B. Emotional and Social Development (Chapter 8)

V.     Middle childhood
        A. Physical and Cognitive Development (Chapter 9)
        B. Emotional and Social Development (Chapter 10)

VI.    Adolescence
        A. Physical and Cognitive Development (Chapter 11)
        B. Emotional and Social Developement (Chapter 12)

VII.   Early adulthood
        A. Physical and Cognitive Development (Chapter 13)
        B. Emotional and Social Development (Chapter 14)

VIII.  Middle adulthood
        A. Physical and Cognitive Development (Chapter 15)
        B. Emotional and Social Development (Chapter 16)

IX.    Late adulthood
        A. Physical and Cognitive Development (Chapter 17)
        B. Emotional and Social Development (Chapter 18)

X.     Death, dying and bereavement (Chapter 19)

Because Human Growth & Development is a broad field, this is an introductory course and there is a large amount and variety of material to cover, the course's information has been divided into units consisting of 1 or 2 chapters per unit, each of which incorporates certain data-based instructional principles. The reading for each unit is found in the assigned chapter of the required text, and you will be provided with study questions to help you master the content and prepare for exams.

Class attendance is mandatory. Each student is allowed to miss two classes without penalty; each additional absence reduces your quarter average by 3%. If you miss an exam, your score on the comprehensive final will be counted as the missing exam.

Withdrawal Policy: Any student who officially withdraws before midterm will automatically receive a W. After midterm, the student's grade will determine the withdrawal grade (i.e.,WP or WF).

Grades: There will be 4 regular exams and a comprehensive final exam. Each exam consists of definitions, fill-in-the-blank, list-and-describe questions, and essays. All items on test and exams are based on the topic’s study questions found in the study guide. All submitted work will be graded on both content and grammar (punctuation, spelling, tense agreement, sentence structure, etc.).

At the end of the semester, grades will be assigned based on the following weights:

A = 90-100% B = 80-89% C = 70-79% D = 60-69%

Average on the 4 exams ..... 80%

Final exam ........................ 20%

Students who have NOT missed more than two classes and who have not missed one of the four exams can exempt the final IF they have an average above 83%.

ITASC Principles:

The following are COE Conceptual Framework Principles (modified from INTASC statements). Not every principle will be addressed in every course but students and faculty should be aware of them all and the COE motto: Developing Professionals for Schools. (Teacher is the college student in training. Teacher could be any developing professional, a classroom teacher, a school counselor or school psychologist, etc.)

  1. The teacher understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the fields of knowledge he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful for students.
  2. The teacher understands how children learn and develop and provides learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social, and personal development.
  3. The teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.
  4. The teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students' development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills.
  5. The teacher uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
  6. The teacher uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.
  7. The teacher plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.
  8. The teacher understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continuous intellectual, social, and physical development of the learner.
  9. The teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates, using qualitative and quantitative resources, the effects of his or her choices and actions on others and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally.
  10. The teacher fosters relationships with school colleagues, families, businesses, and agencies in the larger community to support students' learning and well-being.