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Child Development


Child Development

A child's age and developmental progress affects how they see the world and how they learn new things. In this course we will explore various child development and educational theories and how they influence how children learn. This course also explores how learning is affected by family, peers and cultural factors. This course is for educators and paraprofessionals.



Access Length

180 Days





Course Overview

  • Students will explain the theories of human development that will be explored.
  • Students will identify the features of biological development.
  • Students will apply cognitive development theories to their teaching practice.
  • Students will apply the social theories of development to their teaching practice.
  • Students will identify the process of language development
  • Students will identify ways intelligence is measured.
  • Students will identify the reasons why motivation declines in students.
  • Students will identify ways family and peer relationships can affect development.
  • Students will identify the ways gender role differences affect academic performance.
  • Students will identify features of psychological problems that appear at different stages of development.
  • Students will review what they have learned and reflect on changes made to their teaching practice.

Course Outline:

Lesson 1: Getting Started

There are many theories and areas of study related to child development, In this lesson we are going to get an overview of some of the major theories. We’ll explore these in more detail as we go through this course.

Lesson 2: Biological Development

In this lesson we are going to explore how biological development can affect how students learn. We will see there are stages children go through in developing skills. We will also see how genetics and environment affect how students learn. We will explore ways in which research has helped us to understand how children learn and what ways we can help improve our students abilities.

Lesson 3: Cognitive Development

In the last lesson we explored the biological development of children. In this lesson we will explore the cognitive development of children – changes in the way they think and process information as they grow up. We will be exploring various theories that have been used to explain how children process information. Knowing this can help you to adjust the way you present information to use the way a student’s mind may work. Recognizing a student’s stage can also give insights into helping them to learn better.

Lesson 4: Social Theories of Development

Up to now we have looked inside the student for development based on biology or how their brains worked. In this lesson we are going to move outside and look at how interactions between students and the teacher, other students and the student’s culture can affect and influence learning. We will first explore Behaviorism as it relates to modifying student behavior. We’ll also look at using Apprenticeship and Scaffolding as means of teaching students.

Lesson 5: Language Development

With this lesson we are going to start our explorations of specific topics related to development. In this lesson we look at language development. We will explore how children learn their first language and compare that with how they learn a second language. We will also look at some language impairments and explore how being deaf can affect how a child learns language.

Lesson 6: Intelligence and Individual Differences

In this lesson we are going to explore the measurement of intelligence through standardized testing. We will also look at several ways of measuring intelligence, including multiple intelligences. We will also look at gifted students, students with learning disabilities and mental retardation and how it affects the child’s use of strategies, their processing efficiency and motivation.

Lesson 7: Academic Motivation

In this lesson we are going to explore student academic motivation. We’ll start by looking at how motivation to learn declines as students move to the higher grades and some reasons for that and ways that we can improve student motivation. We’ll also look at ways to improve the environment of the classroom to make it more motivational. We’ll also explore how student’s environments can affect motivation.

Lesson 8: Family and Peer Relationships

In this lesson we are going to explore how family and peer relationship affect the development of children. We’ll explore the parent-child attachment and how that can affect not only the child’s social development but their academic development. We’ll also identify ways in which peer relationships develop and how they can affect how children develop both socially and academically.

Lesson 9: Gender Role Development

In this lesson we are going to explore the role gender differences play in the emotional academic development of children. We will see that there are very few differences in how boys and girls act and learn. We will also see how children develop gender identity. We will also see how gender stereotypes can how boys and girls are encouraged to study in school.

Lesson 10: Recognizing Student Mental Health Problems

In this lesson we are going to look at student mental health issues that educators may deal with. We will look at issues that develop in early childhood, grade school and adolescence. Some of the issues we encounter may require adjustments to our teaching. Others may just require our observation and possibly intervention to keep the problem from escalating.

Lesson 11: Putting it All Together

In this lesson we are going to look back at what we have learned in this course and create an artifact for our portfolios.

All necessary course materials are included.

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