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ED 527 Growth and Development of Children and Adolescents
Cowley, Brian J.

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COURSE TITLE: Growth and Development of Children and Adolescents

COURSE DESCRIPTOR: The study of the development of children and adolescents.



TITLE OF FACULTY MEMBER: Assistant Professor of Psychology


FACULTY OFFICE HOURS: Monday 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.; Tuesday & Thursday 11:a.m.-12:00p.m.; Wednesday 10:00-11:00 a.m.; Friday 12:00-1:00 p.m.





DATES OF THE TERM:  January 10, 2005 to March 3, 2005


CLASS SESSION TIME: 5:00 to 9:30 p.m.





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.



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


COURSE DESCRIPTION: A developmental approach to the study of the growth and development of children and adolescents.  This course explores the cognitive, personality, emotional, social and physical changes that occur in children from conception through adolescence.  It will review research on how children learn, solve problems, and function in home and school environments.


FACULTY’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: Doctor Cowley’s educational philosophy is based on using a variety of methods in learning with a focus on application.  Lectures, readings, multiple choice 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 publicly in the classroom or through the written word.



  • Identify and use vocabulary words related to child and adolescent development in class and through the written word.
  • Analyze the concepts common to theories found in developmental psychology.
  • Critically examine the theories of cognitive, personality, emotional, social and physical development.
  • Demonstrate high quality written and oral communication skills through interaction with other students and the instructor in a structured, flexible environment.
  • Identify trends and techniques child and adolescent psychology and apply them to the classroom.



Berk, L. E. (1999).  Landscapes of development.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

McDevitt, T. M. & Ormrod, J. E. (2004).  Child development: Educating and working with children and adolescents.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson-Merrill Prentice Hall.


ACADEMIC HONESTY: “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”


PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”


ATTENDANCE POLICY: Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.


LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: Any assignment turned in after the date it is due will be given up to half credit for that assignment.  No course materials will be accepted after the last class meeting.


COURSE ASSESSMENT: A variety of methods will be used to assess the learning that occurs in this course.  Students will be assessed on their class participation, Essay Examinations, vocabulary tests, article discussions, and classroom projects.  There will also be opportunities to work in groups and to be assessed on individual and group performance.



  • Attend class and be prompt.  Roll will be checked during each class period.  It is your responsibility to make up anything missed in class and that your scheduled assignments are submitted on time.
  • Be prepared for class.  This means that you have read the assigned readings and are prepared to discuss them.  This course will consist of class discussion, small group discussion, group work, lecture, and outside of class experiences.  You are expected to take part in the discussions and group work.  Also, assigned readings will not always be reviewed in class, but examinations will be from both assigned readings and class discussions.
  • Essay Examinations.  There will be 3 Essay Examinations administered during the semester.  Each student will be given 4 essay test questions for one week.  At the end of the week, the test answers will be due.  Each student is allowed to use their textbook and other materials while completing the test.  Students may work together as long as their test answers are significantly different.  Each answer will need to be typed and double-spaced.  Each answer should include an introduction, an analysis, and a conclusion.  When the instructor collects the test, he will randomly select two of the four questions for grading.  These two questions will be used to evaluate the student’s performance and will be worth up to 50 points each.  Each quiz will be worth up to 100 points with up to 300 points possible for all three tests.

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

20 Points

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

10 Points

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

10 Points

Mechanics (proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling)

10 Points


  • Article Discussion.  The class will be divided up into groups of 4-5 students.  Each group will be assigned a chapter from the Berk (1999) textbook and present what they found to the rest of the class.  Each group will summarize the article, explain how it applies to the classroom, and will indicate what good it does for society (Social Validity).  They will then turn in a paper (typed and double spaced) reflecting this information to the instructor.  There will be 8 article presentations per group and discussions for the semester.  These will be worth 30 points each with total of 240 being available.  The group will be graded on the quality of the presentation and summary.


10 Points

Application to the Classroom

10 Points

Social Validity

10 Points


  • Vocabulary Test.  Each student will be given a vocabulary list.  They will be required to obtain the definition out the assigned textbook.  A vocabulary test will given as a midterm and final (Comprehensive).  This test will be in a multiple choice format.  There will be 50 words and possible definitions for each word on the test.  Each test will be worth up to 100 points with 200 points possible for both tests.  In preparation for the test, each student will be required to put vocabulary words on one side of a 3” x 5” card and the definition for each word on the other side of the corresponding card.  During each class period, each student will find a partner.  One student will take the pile of cards and start looking at the word and say the definition from memory.  The other student will take the card and put it in three piles.  One pile will be for those that are correct, the second pile will be for those words that the student passed (chose not to answer), and the third pile will represent words that were answered but incorrectly defined.  The second student will then record the other student’s progress on the Vocabulary Trials Checklist.  Then the partnership will reverse their roles.  A Vocabulary Trials Checklist will be provided.  This checklist will allow the student to track their progress with vocabulary words.  Each student will be required to participate in 3 vocabulary trials per week.  Each student will be given 10 points per score that is submitted in the grade book.  Each vocabulary trial will be for a 2 minute timed trail and the student is to give as many correct definitions as they can in a 2 minute time trial.
  • Classroom Observation: The class will be divided up into groups of 4-5 students.  Each group will video-record (digital or VHS) one child in any school environment for 15 minutes.  The group will then analyze the video images and identify developmental processes.  The group will then write a paper (typed and double spaced) explaining what they observed on the video.  Each group will then present the video to the class and present their findings.  Each group will then turn in the video-recording and the paper.  This project will be worth up to 100 points.
  • Student Demonstration: The class will be divided up into groups of 4-5 students.  Each group will video-record (digital or VHS) developmental milestones (i.e., conservation, etc.) in children.  These will be contrived episodes where the group sets up the environment to be conducive to demonstrating such behavior.  The group will then write a paper (typed and double spaced) explaining what developmental milestones were demonstrated on the video.  Each group will then present the video to the class and present their findings.  Each group will then turn in the video-recording and the paper.  This project will be worth up to 100 points.
  • Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  Students must recognize though that technology can also cause problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technology.  Be sure to save copies of your work to a disk, a hard drive, and print out paper copies for backup purposes.
  • The student is expected to have a copy of all written assignments on computer disk or in a hard copy form.  You will also be expected to retain all graded and returned assignments and examinations.
  • The student is expected to have a copy of all written assignments on computer disk or in a hard copy form.  You will also be expected to retain all graded and returned assignments and examinations.


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 American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent 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:





Reading Assignment



Functional Assessment


Article Discussion 1

Vocabulary Trials


Making a Difference in Lives of Children; Methods of Inquiry in Child Development

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Article Discussion 2

Vocabulary Trials


Physical Development; Cognitive Development-Piaget & Vygotsky

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Article Discussion 3

Essay Examination 1

Vocabulary Trials


Cognitive Development-Cognitive Processes; Intelligence

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Article Discussion 4

Classroom Observation

Vocabulary Trials


Language Development; Development of Literacy

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Article Discussion 5


Vocabulary Trials


Personal and Emotional Development; Social Understanding & Moral Development

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Article Discussion 6

Essay Examination 2

Vocabulary Trials


Development of Motivation & Self-Regulation; Families

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Article Discussion 7

Student Demonstration

Vocabulary Trials


Interpersonal Relationships; Growing Up in Context

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Article Discussion 8

Essay Examination 3

Final (Comprehensive)

Vocabulary Trials


GRADING PLAN: Course grades are determined on the following bases.

1st Essay Exam                         -           100 points                    Grading percentages:

2nd Essay Exam                        -           100 points                    90 – 100%       -           A

3rd Essay Exam             -           100 points                    80 up to 89%   -           B

Midterm                                   -           100 points                    70 up to 79%   -           C

Final                                         -           100 points                    60 up to 69%   -           D

Classroom Presentation            -           100 points                    0 up to 59%     -           F

Article Discussion x 8               -           240 points

Vocabulary Trials                     -           210 Points

Total                            1050 points