Human development is a lifelong process and involves patterns of change in the biological, emotional and cognitive domains. Developmental psychology seeks to explain how the interaction between biological, social and cultural factors affects these patterns of change. Each of the perspectives in Developmental Psychology is characterised by a particular theoretical orientation or view of how development occurs and which factors are most responsible for the patterns of change. These different perspectives of children’s development and learning have informed different approaches in care and educational practice.
The module content offers an introduction to current theory and research in Developmental Psychology, including explanations of both typical and atypical developmental patterns, as well as a review of historical and contemporary provision in children’s services.
Developmental psychologists use a range of research methods, including experiments and observations, in their attempts to devise theories to explain this process of change. This module will include a review of some of these key methodologies thereby enabling students to understand the research evidence underpinning the theories being studied and introducing them to the importance of observation and assessment processes for practitioners in planning an inclusive learning environment.
Students will bring their own varied experiences to this module and will be encouraged to reflect upon this both to understand theory and practice as well as to question the validity of their assumed knowledge. This evaluation can be used to inform their future working relationships with children in a variety of professional settings.