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[SI0197] - Introduction to the Psychology of Development and Learning

Module Code: SI0197
Module Leader: Raya Jones
Year: 1
Semester: Both
Number of Credits: 20

Teaching Method: Lectures and seminars, supplemented by private study. Seminars will focus on conducting small empirical research projects.
Assessment: Written examination 1.5 hours (50%) - Autumn Semester; Coursework (Essays) 3000 words (50%) - Spring Semester
Degree Schemes: Education; Social Science


Module Aims

The module provides a critical overview of theories of learning and human development, including historical and conceptual issues of developmental science. It discusses various definitions of development and the concept of life course development. It explores various perspectives on the development of language,
communication processes, as well as emotion and attachment. It examines models of gender and identity development. It considers specific topics in educational research, including theories of learning, child-adult interaction, and the organisation of teaching environments.

This is a self-contained module for those students who will pursue the subject no further and a foundation for those who will continue to study psychology through their second or third years, including those seeking to achieve a degree with eligibility for graduate membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) with the BPS, provided that the accredited pathway is undertaken and the minimum qualification of Second Class Honours is achieved.


Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Comprehension

  • Identify distinctive psychological approaches to the study of human development.
  • Describe aspects of children's and adolescent's learning in formal and informal teaching settings.
  • Present arguments of a range of research methods with supporting evidence from psychological and social research.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of core issues in theories of emotional, gender, communication, and identity development.

Skills (Application and Analysis)

  • Explain theories and concepts in developmental science and the psychology of learning.
  • Present arguments and support them with reference to research evidence.
  • Demonstrate a critical perspective on social and psychological issues of learning.

Understanding (Synthesis and Evaluation)

  • Compare and contrast different theoretical positions on human development.
  • Critically evaluate psychology’s contribution to selected issues of teaching and learning.
  • Appreciate the contribution of research evidence to understanding life course development and lifelong learning.
  • Analyse critically the concepts of gender, identity, and communication in relation to development and education.

Transferable Skills

  • Develop a general awareness of different standpoints in the psychology of development and learning.
  • Develop a more detailed knowledge of selected themes, given the option of ‘specialising’ in topics of own interest within the choice of assignment topics.
  • Develop skills of engaging with issues at academic level and communicating an understanding.

Synopsis of Module Content

Attachment theory and research; emotions and moral development; social-cognitive development: empathy and the child’s ‘theory of mind’; family interactions and the child’s narrative self; the peers group; aggression; social withdrawal and school refusal; language development; language and literacy;communicative competence; gender and schooling; formal contexts for learning; informal contexts for learning; home-school literacy; key ideas in the psychology of learning.


Arrangements for Feedback on Work

Written feedback on coursework assignments; general issues raised during seminars; individual oral feedback with seminar tutor and opportunity to discuss progress with personal tutor.