Intro. Human Development – Social World of Children & Families

January 29, 2001

COURSE DESCRIPTION and OBJECTIVES. This course examines human physical, cognitive and psychosocial development from conception through death and dying with particular emphasis upon social development. Children and families are considered within their immediate and extended contexts. Students are expected to grasp general and specific concepts and milestones regarding human development throughout the life span. They are also expected to make practical connections between course curriculum and service learning observations and experiences, and to think knowledgeably and critically about the theoretical frameworks, concepts, and social issues that affect the development of children and families in today’s diverse and ever-changing world.


Berger, K. & Ross, T. (1998), The Developing Person Through the Life Span (4th Edition). NY: Worth Publishers.

Hopson, D. & Hopson, D. (1993). Raising the Rainbow Generation: Teaching Children to be Successful in a Multi-Cultural Society. NY: Fireside.

Tatum, B. (1992). Talking about race: the application of racial identity development theory in the classroom. Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 62 (1), 1-24.


Straub, R. (1995), Study Guide to accompany the Berger text above.


A flat 3-pronged folder for journal entries. Preferably UPC Code 73333-62630 or Ampad #36-121. Labeled with student’s name on the front, and properly labeled as instructed in “Journal Reflection Questions.”


Davis, N., Cole, E., & Rothblum, E. (1993). Faces of Women and Aging. NY: Haworth.

Dunlap, M. (1998). Adjustment and developmental outcomes of students engaged in service learning. Journal of Experiential Education.

Dunlap, M. (1997). The Role of the personal fable in adolescent service learning and critical reflection. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 4, 56-63.

FL Co-op Extension, IFAS, U. of FL, Winning Ways to Talk with Young Children.

Gite, L. (Nov., 1991), When boys are raped, Essence.

Kanter, R. & Stein, B. (1980). A Tale of O: On Being Different. NY: Harper & Row.

Nelson, R. & Fitzgibbons, R. (April, 1992). Why I’m every mother’s worst fear, Redbook.

The Parent Institute, Building Children’s Self-Esteem.


(1) ATTENDANCE. Regular attendance and participation in class discussions are required.

(2) SERVICE LEARNING is required on a regular basis. It is my philosophy that service learning experiences help to enhance academic learning, and vice versa, that academic learning can enhance service learning. Therefore, I require students to engage in supervised service learning involving children, adults, and/or families who are within any portion of the lifespan. It must be coordinated through the Connecticut College Children’s Program or the Office of Volunteers for Community Service (OVCS). A letter is attached for you to give to your service learning placement supervisor when you begin your service learning. Service learning should be arranged before, and begin no later than, Monday, September 20, 1999.

(3) REFLECTION JOURNAL. The purpose of the reflection journal is for the documenting of all of your activities related to the course, but especially concerning your service learning experiences. Items that are to be included in the reflection journal are: your answers to the Journal Reflection Questions; feelings and insights regarding your service learning experiences; reactions to text and reserved readings; insights gained related to the course; and a concluding summary to bring your journal to a close. Each service learning experience and related thoughts, feelings, and/or insights are to be documented. Entry submissions should be ongoing from the beginning of the course, are to be typed, double spaced, completed and submitted for grading as scheduled below. Please do not use a three binder for turning in your journal, but rather use a flat folder as listed above with 3 prongs for securely holding papers.

(4) LAB SCHOOL OBSERVATION. All students are expected to participate in approximately one hour of scheduled, supervised observation at the Connecticut College Children’s Program (X2920), no later than October 22, 1999. If you are already placed there for your service learning, then you should observe another classroom within the Program. Available observation dates and times will be announced to the class. An observation outline will be provided, the responses to which are to be submitted within reflection journals in order to receive credit for the observation.

(5) ONE CLASS PRESENTATION/PROJECT. More details will be given as we go along, but the topics are tentatively scheduled to involve: a) A critique of media messages regarding children or adults and their social environments, families and/or communities; or b) A children’s storybook intervention.

(6) A MID-TERM AND A FINAL EXAM. The mid-term and final exams will consist of a variety of short answers, definitions, fill-in the blanks, and/or essays. The final is cumulative. In addition, the instructor may issue a “pop quiz” at any time without advance notice.

(7) EVALUATION FORM. Must be completed by each student·s service learning supervisor before the end of the semester. It is your responsibility to verify with your supervisor that the evaluation has been mailed by the appropriate due date. Students are not to hand-deliver the evaluations to instructor or to her box. The evaluations should be mailed or delivered by the supervisors.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE. The reading assignments given below are required and are to be completed by the date they appear in the outline unless otherwise specified. Additional recommended or required readings may be assigned and/or reserved as we progress through the semester. If any additional assignments are announced in class, you are responsible for them. Most classes will take the form of lectures, discussions, and/or multi-media presentations.

M Sept. 6 Introduction to the Course and to Each Other.

W Sept. 8 Visits from the directors of the Connecticut College Children’s Program, the Office of Volunteer for Community Service (OVCS), the Multicultural Resource Center, and/or the Science Center of Southeastern, CT.

M Sept. 13 Setting and Exploring the Contexts of Human Development
Text: Berger, Chapter 1

W Sept. 15 Film Survey of Human Development from Conception to Adolescence
Text: Scan Entire Text

M Sept. 20 No Classes, Yom Kippur

W Sept. 22 The Eclectic Approach to Theory Use
Text: Berger, Chapter 2, pp. 29-50
Reserved: Tatum article

M Sept. 27 Research Methods
Text: Berger, Chapter 2, pp. 50-63

W Sept. 29 Controversies in Genetic and Prenatal Technology
Text: Berger, Chapter 3
Reserved: Dunlap (1998) article
Service Learning Placements Should Be Well Established and Begun By Now

M Oct. 4 Prenatal Development and Birth
Film: “The Miracle of Life”
Text: Berger, Chapter 4
Connecticut College Children’s Program Lab Observation to be completed by Mar. 5, X2920, Holmes Hall

W Oct. 6 Death and Dying
Text: Epilogue

M Oct. 11 Birth-Order Theories, Issues and Group Explorations
Special Class Discussion: Student Placements, Expectations, Goals
Text: Berger, pp. 292-294
Reserved: Dunlap (1997) article
Bring to Class: Be prepared to discuss your service learning placements and issues in small groups.

W Oct. 13 Development in the First Two Years
Text: Berger, Chapters 5, 6, 7
M Oct. 18 Development During the Play Years
Text: Berger, Chapters 8, 9, 10
JOURNALS DUE in appropriate flat 3-pronged folders

W Oct. 20 Development During the School Years
Text: Berger, Chapters 11, 12, 13

M Oct. 25 MID-TERM EXAM- Berger Chapters 1-10, and reserved and other materials assigned up to, and including, chapter 10.

W Oct. 27 Anti-Biased Environments and Coping in Young Children
Special Class Discussion: Student Placements, Progress and Challenges
Reserved: Kanter’s & Stein’s Tale of O;
Reserved: Review Tatum article;
Text: Hopson & Hopson, Part I, II, & IV
Bring to Class: Be prepared to discuss your service learning placements and issues in small groups.

M Nov. 1 History, Culture, Learning Styles, with Group Explorations.
Film Excerpt: “The Story of Marva Collins”
Text: Hopson & Hopson: Part III
Assignment: Browse the Juvenile section of the Connecticut College library, and the Multicultural Resource Center adjacent to the Human Development
Department. Be sure to discuss each of them in your journal.

W Nov. 3 Children with Special Needs, with Group Explorations.
Film: “Educating & Mainstreaming Peter”
Text: Review Berger, pp. 310-321

M Nov. 8 Development During Adolescence
Text: Chapters 14, 15, 16

W Nov. 10 Adolescent Body Image and Media Issues, with Group Explorations.
Film: “Still Killing Us Softly”
Text: Chapters 14, 15, 16 continued

M Nov. 15 Sexual Abuse, Survivors, Perpetrators & Correlates
Reserved: Nelson and Gite articles

W Nov. 17 Development During Early Adulthood
Text: Chapters 17, 18, 19

M Nov. 22 Parenting and Child Safety

W Nov. 24 No Classes, Thanksgiving Break

M Nov. 29 Parenting and Child Self-Esteem Development
Reserved: Winning Ways to Talk with Young Children;
Reserved: Parents Can Build Self-Esteem

W Dec. 1 Development During Middle Adulthood
Special Class Discussion: Student Placements, Progress, Challenges, & Closure
Reserved: Davis et al., Chapter 1 (S. Pearlman)
Text: Chapters 20, 21, 22
Bring to Class: Be prepared to discuss your service learning placements and issues in small groups.

M Dec. 6 Film Excerpt and Discussion: “Ageless Heroes”

W Dec. 8 Development During Late Adulthood
Text: Chapters 23, 24, 25
JOURNALS DUE in appropriate flat 3-pronged folders

M Dec. 13 Student Presentations : Media Images and Storybook Interventions
Note: CUMULATIVE FINAL EXAM – Self-scheduled.

GRADING: Final course grades will be based on evaluation of the following (%’s are approximations):

Midterm Exam (30%)
Final Exam (30%)
Service Learning, Evaluation & Journal (25%)
Other Work: Class Presentation, Class
Participation, Attendance, & Lab Visit (15%)

LATE WORK: Work that is late will be reduced by 10% of the highest possible grade for that assignment for each day that it is late.

GRADING AND ACADEMIC HONESTY: In this course it is expected and assumed that students are familiar with and abide by Connecticut College’s Honor Code. Therefore, all assignments and exams must be written solely by the stated author, and for this course only. No assignments may be submitted to fulfill the requirements of more than one course unless explicitly agreed upon by the instructors of each of the courses. Suspected cheating, plagiarism, or other dishonesty will be referred immediately to Connecticut College’s judiciary board, and could result in a failing grade for that assignment or exam and/or for the course.
Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.

FIRST LABEL YOUR JOURNAL FILE: Label your journal file with, 1) Your Name, Gender and Age; 2) Your Course# and Section; 3) The Semester (e.g., Fall, 1996); and 4) The Name of Your Service Learning Location.

GENERAL FORMAT INFORMATION: Your journal is to consist of one computer file that is stored on a hard or floppy disk, and which continues to grow as you add entries to it. It is your responsibility to keep the latest version of your journal file backed-up at all times on additional disks. The journal allows you to stretch your thinking beyond the boundaries of the classroom. It is intended as an opportunity for you to relate what you are studying about humans to what you see them doing as you observe them in your service learning settings as well as to reflect upon concepts and experiences related to the course.

LABEL EACH JOURNAL ENTRY: Each entry in the file should be labeled with the date of visit. Some students have titled their entries or added other personal touches.

HOW TO PROCESS OR TAKE NOTES: It is probably NOT a good idea to take notes for your journal while you are engaged at your service learning site. The best time to process is right after your service learning for that day, and then perhaps at any points after as you continue to think about your observations and experiences. Entries should be double spaced, and each entry should be dated. IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT SERVICE LEARNERS REFER TO ANY CHILDREN, ADULTS, STAFF, TEACHERS, ETC. BY INITIALS ONLY, AND NOT BY NAME, FOR THE SAKE OF THEIR CONFIDENTIALITY.

LENGTH OF ENTRIES: There is no set or required length for each entry; the length should be determined by your observation and your processing of it. As you become more at ease with writing in your journal, length will become less important. You should have at least one entry for each day that you observe. You may add more entries between visits as you see fit as you process course materials, service learning, etc.

FIRST JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT- INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE FIRST FEW ENTRIES: Questions to think about when observing and reflecting. These questions are to be addressed in the first few entries of your journal, and can be addressed even before your placement actually begins. Please do not fear answering honestly. There are no right or wrong responses in your journals. Thus, prior to and/or over the course of your first few service learning sessions, respond to the following questions in your journals:

1) Where is your service learning site? How will you be getting to your service learning site? Describe the surroundings of your site.

2) How did you come to select your particular observation site? In other words, what attracted you to this one over the others available?

3) What do you hope to learn or possibly discover about the children, adults or families or about the observation site? What do you hope to observe, learn or discover about human development by participating at your observation center?

4) What are your specific duties or tasks? Are you a tutor, peer model, or do you serve in some other capacity? What specifically will be your tasks and roles?

5) Describe the children, adults, or families (not necessarily each one, but collectively) with whom you are working in your service learning. With how many children, adults, or families do you come into contact? What are their age ranges and school grade levels? What do you happen to know about their lives and backgrounds (their Microsystems, Mesosystems, Exosystems and Macrosystems)? How might the participants be similar to one another? How might they be different from one another? Are there any that you might define as under-served or “at risk” for some reason? Why so? Why not?

6) Do you see any similarities between yourself as a child or adult and the children, adults or families in general or individually? What are the similarities? What are the differences?

7) What developmental deficits (physical, cognitive, psychosocial, emotional, spiritual, etc.), if any, do you think the participants have? What strengths and competencies do you think they have? What have you observed in their behavior that might illustrate these deficits, strengths, and competencies? You may include a discussion of deficits and strengths in their Microsystems(s), Mesosystem(s), Exosystem(s), and/or Macrosystem.

8) What questions stand out in your mind most about the participants? If you had a crystal ball and could investigate any aspect of their development, what would you want to focus on? Why? What would you want most to avoid focusing upon? Why?

9) Again, please do not fear answering honestly. There are no wrong or right responses in your journal. Remember that the purpose of your journal is to help you record, discuss, and reflect upon your observation experiences without fear of being graded on content. How do you feel at this point about this service learning experience? How do you view yourself with relation to the participants at this point? In other words, do you feel any attachment or connection (can you relate to the participants in any way)? In what areas do you relate? In what areas do you not? Why? Why not?

10) Where do you want to go from here with respect to your observations? Have any areas emerged yet that you think you might like to focus on in particular when you observe the participants. Are there any individual participants that you feel particularly interesting? Jot any ideas for future directions.

BASIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR FUTURE ENTRIES: In general, your journal entry should have two parts: (1) a record of what you have observed or experienced at the time, and (2) your response or reaction to it. Your reaction should focus on relating what you saw to information from the course. Personal reactions in the journal are encouraged, but the central thrust of the response should be the relationship between what you saw and the course content as much as possible.
Human Development Department
Instructor: Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.

Dear Supervisor or Teacher: I would appreciate your assessment of the following student service learner from my course. Please complete this evaluation for the student to return to me at the end of the semester. Your feedback will not only provide valuable information for measuring the progress of students, but it can also help me to improve on the design of future courses. The supervisor or teacher should mail this form by Friday, December 17, 1999 directly to: Professor Michelle R. Dunlap, Box 5322 Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Ave., New London, CT 06320-4196. I thank you for your assistance.

STUDENT NAME _______________________________________________
DAYCARE/SCHOOL/AGENCY ___________________________________
SUPERVISOR/TEACHER ________________________________________

Using the number scale, please check the number best assessing the service learner’s performance: 1. Excellent 2. Good 3. Fair 4. Poor 5. Cannot Comment
1 2 3 4 5
a. Reliability ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
b. Motivation ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
c. Involvement ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
d. Commitment ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
e. Productivity ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
f. Cooperativeness ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )

Do you feel that this service learner was adequately prepared to accept the responsibilities that they were given? In what way(s) could they have been better prepared?

Did you feel that this was a worthwhile experience for you and your classroom or agency? How did having a service learner in your classroom or agency benefit you?

In your opinion, what can I, as an instructor, do to enhance a service learner exchange such as this and make it a more beneficial experience for you, your students or clients, and my students?

Do you feel that you had a good rapport with this service learner? Why or why not?

Would you want to have a service learner from my courses again in the future? Why or why not?

I would greatly appreciate any additional feedback. Please use the back of this sheet for that purpose. This will help me to strive to better prepare my students for the service learning experience. Thank you for your participation and valuable input.

Human Development Department
Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.
Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Ave., Box 5322
New London, CT 06320-4196
(860) 439-2634 (Office)
(860) 439-5457 (FAX) (E-Mail)

September 6, 1999

Dear School or Agency Supervisor,

The student ____________________________ is enrolled in a Human Development Course that I teach. I believe that service learning experiences help to enhance academic learning, and vice versa, that academic learning can enhance service learning. Therefore, I require that all of my students engage in supervised service learning involving children, adults and/or families, coordinated through either the Connecticut College Children’s Program or the Connecticut College Office of Volunteer for Community Services (OVCS).

The above student is enrolled in my HMD ________ course. All students of my courses are expected to behave in accordance with the Connecticut College Children’s Program or OVCS guidelines for behavior and performance of duties. For students of my HMD 111B Introduction to Human Development Course, they are also asked by me to make as many connections as they can between basic course concepts and real life child behavior, and vice versa, real life behavior and concepts taught in the course. HMD 302 Social and Personality Development students are expected to focus more on social developmental issues, and social cognition issues as they perform their regular service learning duties. For students of my HMD 321 Children and Families in a Multicultural Society course, students are encouraged to focus their attention more on multicultural concepts, issues, challenges and resolutions. HMD 402 Social and Personality Development Research students are expected to think in terms of the implications of particular areas of research that they are pursuing for the service learning environments and/or children and families of service learning environments in which they are engaged.

Attached to this letter you will find an evaluation form that I would appreciate your completing at the end of the student’s service learning period. It should be mailed directly to me. Your evaluation will not only provide valuable information for measuring the progress of my students, but it can also help me to improve on the design of courses in the future.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if I can provide you with more information regarding the service learning objectives that I have for my students, or if you have any other questions or concerns. I thank you again for helping to provide this service learning opportunity for one of my students.


Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D.

School: Connecticut College
Professor: Michelle R. Dunlap, Ph.D
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