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130 Syllabus_Winter10

130 Syllabus_Winter10 - Developmental Psychology Psych 130...

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Developmental Psychology, Psych 130, Winter 2010 Syllabus Version 1.0, January 5, 2010 Place: Franz 1178 Time: T Th 9:30-10:45 Professor: Dr. Scott P. Johnson office: Franz 2291B, (310) 825-5537 email: [email protected] web: http://www.babylab.ucla.edu office hours: T Th 11:00-12:00 TAs: Emily Thom ([email protected]); Kim Tsai ([email protected]) Required text: Berk, L. E. (2009). Child Development (8 th ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon Publishers. Overview: The course has five broad goals. First, you will learn about some of the "big picture" issues that guide research in developmental psychology. You will see that there is no single theory that explains the nature of development in its entirety, and that research often leads to ambiguous outcomes and fierce debates among scientists. Second, you will learn about children's action and thought at various ages. Children are interesting in and of themselves, and a consideration of how change occurs is a fascinating but challenging problem that is not easily resolved. Third, you will learn many of the methods that we use to reveal mechanisms of change. You will see that our methods can be inexact, and there is a continual struggle to improve them and develop new approaches. Fourth, I hope you will come to understand why I believe that developmental psychology, in many ways, serves as a metaphor for life in the real world. You are constantly bombarded with information from many sources, and much of it is nonsense. Critical thinking skills are necessary to filter out the good from the bad, and a solid liberal arts education is an excellent way of instilling such skills. This course emphasizes critical thinking. Fifth, learning a bit about children might do you some good if & when you start your own family.
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