PS121 Human Growth & Development

for U1B 2010

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


PS 121 Human Growth & Development


U1B 2010 BL


Rodriguez, Mildred


Adjunct Faculty


LPC, MA Counseling, BS-political Science, BS-sociology,
School Counselor-Certification, E-4 Certification

Office Hours

by appointment


Semester Dates

31 May-25 July 2010

Class Days


Class Time

7:40-10:10 pm



Credit Hours


Berger, K.S. (2008).  The developing person through the life span (7th Ed.).  New York, NY: Worth.  978-0-716-76072-6

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:


Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association ®, Sixth Edition

ISBN: 978-1-4338-0561-5

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
PS 121 Human Growth and Development: A discussion of the physical, social, and physiological changes occurring during the life of the individual from conception to death. Emphasis is placed on the similarities and differences of the various age groups and the specialized needs of each. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
My educational philosophy is based on using a variety of methods in learning with a focus on application. Lectures, readings, tests, group work, class discussion, vocabulary examinations, writing, and the use of reference systems are significant components of this learning process. Each student will be required to analyze, criticize, and synthesize presented information. Each student will be required to demonstrate these skills through the written word.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify and use vocabulary words related to human growth and development through the written word.
  2. Analyze the concepts found in common to each period from conception to death.
  3. Critically examine such topics as developmental science, developmental theories, heredity, prenatal development, birth, infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, young adults, adults, older adults, and death. Each of the developmental periods will be analyzed from a biosocial, cognitive, and psychosocial perspective.
  4. Identify basic notions found in research method often used in human growth and development.
  5. Demonstrate high quality written communication skills through interaction with other students and the instructor in a structured, flexible environment.
  6. Identify public policy that influences the lives of people as they develop through the lifespan.

Core Assessment:

Each student will write one research paper. Each student will conduct seven 1 hour observations with children, adolescents, and adults in various stages of their development. The following table will show what stages will be required:

Topic Area

Data Collection

Minimum Duration of Observation/Interview

The First Two Years


1 Hour

The Play Years


1 Hour

The School Years


1 Hour



1 Hour

Early Adulthood


1 Hour

Middle Adulthood


1 Hour

Late Adulthood


1 Hour

These observations can occur in any setting where people can be found. Each student will be required to write a paper that will be an analysis of their observations. Each paper will need to have the observation sheets and interview questions and their responses attached as appendixes. The 1 hour used for the observation and interview need to be recorded in your appendix. Each paper will need to be double spaced. Each paper will need to use APA style when citing references and will need an APA style references list. Each paper will need to have 3 references including the textbook. The student will need to synthesize, analyze, and evaluate these observations and the literature that they have cited. The paper will be worth up to 300 points. To see what is required and how the points will be distributed, see the Core Assessment Rubric at the end.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:


    1.      Quiz:    5 chapter quizzes will be given. There will be a weekly quiz offered over the chapters covered during the week. Each quiz will contain 10 multiple choice questions. You will need to identify the correct answer from the distracter answers.  Each quiz will be worth up to 20 points for a total of 100 points. 


    2.      JOURNALS: Students will be required to keep a journal for this course.  In the journal students will be asked to write on a variety of subjects related to human growth and development.  Students are encouraged to include photographs, drawings, or any other creative way to express his/her feelings and reflections about his/her life.  Journal topics are included in this syllabus.

    Journal Assignments:

    1.      What do I expect to learn from this class?

    2.      Pick a time in your life and write a short biographical sketch, and then relate that period of your life to one of the theorist mentioned in Chapter 1.  (Erikson, Freud, etc.)

    3.      Is research important?  Why or why not?

    4.      Compare and contrast your personality to that of your parents.

    5.      What is your opinion on cloning?  Support your answer.

    6.      What were you like as an infant?  Where did you sleep? Describe your typical sleeping patterns during the first months.  (How many naps did you take? When did you begin to sleep through the night?)  When were you introduced to solid foods? 

    7.      What were your favorite and not so favorite foods as a child?

    8.      What were your first words?  What is your earliest memory?  How old were you?

    9.      What was your first day of school like?

    10.  What was your favorite book or movie as a child and why?

    11.  What was your favorite toy as a child and why?  Was there a game you particularly liked to play, such as hide-and-seek or patty cake?

    12.  How would you describe your own temperament?  What have been the advantages and disadvantages of having your temperament?

    13.  Does watching violent television programs cause people to become violent?  Explain your answer in detail.

    14.  Reflect on your early childhood years.  What style of parenting did your parent(s) or caregiver(s) use?  How has the way you were parented affected how you plan to discipline your children?

    15.  Describe your peer group in elementary school, middle school and high school.  What, if any, are the differences between the groups?

    16.  What were you like as a teenager?

    17.  In high school what were your career goals?  Have they changed?

    18.  Describe your teenage generation with today’s teenage generation.  What are the differences and what are the similarities?

    19.  What do you wish to accomplish in the future, and how does that relate to Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development?

    20.  What are the biggest problems facing individuals in middle adulthood today?

    21.  What are the biggest problems facing individuals in late adulthood?

    22.  At your age, what words of wisdom can you offer younger generations?  Did your parents or grandparents tell you something that has had an impact on your thoughts and theories on life?

    23.  What did you learn from this class?  What would you change, and what would you keep the same?


    3.      Core Assessment: Refer to core assessment above.





    Your project involves interviewing (and maybe spending some time) with a person from three (3) of the following age groups (Hint: While completing your core assessment ask questions that will help you complete this project):

             Early Childhood (ages 4-6)

             Middle to Late Childhood (ages 7-12)

             Adolescence   (ages 13-19)

             Early Adulthood (ages 20-39)

             Middle Adulthood (ages 40-64)

             Late Adulthood (ages 65 and up)

    The project will consist of three parts

    1.     Interviews

    2.     Type written report.  (At least 5 pages long – not including the title page)

    3.     Presentation to class

    You will be assigned the date to give your report during the first class meeting.



     You should keep the following points in mind when you interview your subjects:

    What stage or development are they experiencing?




    Compare how the different ages are similar/different.

    What is this person’s view on the past? The future?

    How is this person being affected by:

    Age-normative processes?

    Historical processes?

    Non-normative processes”

    Topic for Project:

     The topic of your project can be anything from how dating norms have changed to how to appropriately raise children.  The main theme (topic) of your project is entirely up to you.  Choose a topic you have an interest in.

    You may have some other more specific goals, too.  Maybe you can view this as an opportunity to learn something more about somebody, for example, you may use this as a chance to get to know your grandparent better.


    Your paper should be about 5 pages, double-spaced, and typed APA style.  You must include a cover sheet with your name, date, instructor, PS 121, and maybe a title if you like.  The title page does not count as a page.  You must relate each person to a theory in the textbook.


    5.      Class Presentation

    Be prepared to spend about 10 minutes telling the class about your interview.  Your presentation should include but is not limited to the following material:

    1.     Who did you interview (no real names are to be used)?  Include their ages.

    2.     How did you interview them?  Who first?  Where did you conduct your interview?

    3.   What was your main goal/research question (what did you find out)?

    4.     How were the age groups similar/dissimilar pertaining to your goal/research question?

    5.     What difficulties did you have conducting your project?  If you did this assignment over again would you do it differently?

    6.     Relate each person to a theory in the textbook.

    7.     What two or three important things did you learn?

    You can use visual or audio aids in your presentation.

    Don’t stress out about presenting in class!  By the time your presentation is due, you will know everybody in the class better because of group discussions.  Besides, I grade class presentations highly.  You will only get a low grade if you do not complete the assignment, or you do not answer the questions above.  It is usually a lot of fun to find out what everyone has learned from the project.

    6.       Comprehensive Final Exam: There will be a Comprehensive Final Examination offered covering all chapters studied during the semester. You will have one hour during the eighth week to take the Comprehensive Final Exam. It will contain a mixture of multiple-choice, short-answer, and essay questions. Some of the questions will be obtained from your weekly quizzes and Midterm Examination. The rest will be drawn from the chapters covered during the entire 8 weeks of the semester. The Comprehensive Final Exam will be sent to a Proctor that you have selected using the Park University guidelines and have been approved by your instructor. The Final Comprehensive Exam will be worth up to 200 points.


Item / Assignment
Chapter quizzes (5 x 20)
 Journal Submission (7 x 20)
Core Assessment
Three Generations Project 
Three Generations Project class presentation
Observation/Interview Response (7x40)
Class Participation
Comprehensive Final Exam
Total Points Possible
Letter Grade            Total Points
A-90-100                1300 - 1170
B-89-80                  1169 - 1040
C-79-70                  1039 - 910
D-69-60                    909 - 780
F-59-below               779 - 0

Late Submission of Course Materials:


Students who are absent on dates when a major test is given will only be permitted to make up the test if they provide documentation for an excused absence (doctors’ note, court appearance receipt, etc.  If a student is permitted to make-up a test, he/she must make it up the week the test was originally scheduled.  
Students will not be permitted to make-up missed quizzes.

EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENTS: There will be no extra credit assignments in this course, so it is important to complete the work during the time frame expected.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

1.  The time, effort, and expense required for adult learning demands adult behavior.

2.  Please be on time, any student coming to class more than 20 minutes late or leaving more than 20 minutes before class ends will be considered unexcused for attendance purposes. 

3.  Attendance will be taken before class. 

4.  Please turn cell phones off or to silent mode before class begins.  No cell phones allowed during exams or a zero will be given.

5. Students who are absent for reasons other than hospitalization, severe illness with doctor's note, deployment, or mandated service connected activities will be given an unexcused absence.  All work will remain due no later than the required class or points will be deducted from grade regardless of attendance.  If a student accumulates 3 or more unexcused absences their grade will be reduced one letter grade at the end of the term.

6.  Work more than one week late will not be accepted.

E-Mail Procedures: General e-mail: When sending an e-mail, you must identify yourself by:

PS 121

Purpose of the e-mail

Full Name

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:







  • Introduction
  • Theories of Development
  • Heredity and Environment
  • Prenatal Development and Birth
  • Journal assignment 1 due on the first day of class at beginning of class.
  • Review syllabus
  • Select Date for project presentation
  • Come to class prepared to cover chapters 1-4



  • The First Two Years: Biosocial Development
  • The First Two  Years: Cognitive Development
  • The First Two  Years: Psychosocial Development
  • The School Years: Biosocial Development
  • Journal assignment 2 due at beginning of class.
  • Observation/Interview
  • Turn in topic for three generational project.



  • Cognitive Development: The School Years
  • The School Years: Psychosocial Development
  • The School Years: Biosocial Development
  • The School Years: Cognitive Development
  • Journal assignment 3 due on  at beginning of class
  • Observation/Interview



  • The School Years: Psychosocial Development
  • Adolescence: Biosocial Development
  • Adolescence: Cognitive Development
  • Adolescence: Psychosocial Development


  • Journal assignment 4 due on  at beginning of class.
  • Observation/Interview
  • Three generational project Class Presentation



  • Early Adult : Biosocial Development
  • Early Adult : Cognitive Development
  • Early Adult : Psychosocial Development



  • Journal assignment 5 due on  at beginning of class.
  • Observation/Interview
  • Three generational project Class Presentation
  • Turn in rough draft of core assessment paper




  • Middle Adulthood: Biosocial Development
  • Middle Adulthood: Cognitive Development
  • Middle Adulthood: Psychosocial Development
  • Journal assignment 6 due on  at beginning of class.
  • Observation/Interview
  • Three generational project Class Presentation



  • Late Adulthood: Biosocial Development
  • Late Adulthood: Cognitive Development
  • Late Adulthood: Psychosocial Development
  • Journal assignment 7 due on  at beginning of class.
  • Observation/Interview
  • Three generational project Class Presentation




  • Epilogue: Death and Dying
  • Observation/Interview
  • Turn in APA core assessment paper
  • Review
  • Final

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
•Compared and contrasted 5-6 topic areas and corresponding literature. Compared and contrasted 3-4 topic areas and corresponding literature. Compared and contrasted 1-2 topic areas and corresponding literature.  
The student will offer personal experience about 5-7 topic areas. The student will offer personal experience about 3-4 topic areas. The student will offer personal experience about 1-2 topic areas.  
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
The research paper meets expectations while including a student developed graphic or table.

The research paper contains the following sections:

•APA citations




•APA formatted references page.

•References Page – all the references in the body of the text match up with those in the references list and all references in the references list match up with those in the body of the text.

The research paper will also include the following:

•Focus (arguable claim, original idea, & clear controlling idea)

•Development (full discussion, smooth style, & personal experiences)

•Organization (smooth transitions, clear paragraphing, & logical sequence of topics)

•Mechanics (proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling)

The research paper contains the following sections:

•Cover page

•Abstract–summary of Project




•APA formatted references page.

•References Page–all the references in the body of the text match up with those in the references list and all references in the references list match up with those in the body of the text.



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Last Updated:5/2/2010 12:52:27 AM