2020 Developmental Psychology

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Academic unit or major
Graduate major in Social and Human Sciences
Yamagishi Kimihiko 
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Course description and aims

We watch kindergarten pupils play and wonder if they are just little adults or if there is something fundamentally different between childhood and adulthood. We see elementary school pupils having trouble with fractions while others struggle with geometry. What accounts for the individual differences that we observe? In this class, we will learn what science can tell us about development and how scientists figure these things out. Your efforts in this class will help you understand children in new ways and prepare you to study development scientifically. The instruction occasionally relies on the Active Learning style. This course opens in even calendar (Christian) years.

Student learning outcomes

It is my hope that your hunger in understanding human development shall find satisfaction in this course in the sense that, long after it is over, you will continue to pursue answers to the questions that interest you most in your educational careers. I show up in the class 5-10 minutes early. Feel free to use this time for quick questions or to schedule a time to meet with me.


development, psychology, thinking

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The course relies mostly on the conventional lecture style. The instruction occasionally relies on the Active Learning. This course opens in even calendar (Christian) years.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Child Development: What develops? Understand what "development" is.
Class 2 Intellectual aspects in development Understand the development of intelligence
Class 3 Learning aspects in development Understand how "learning" takes place.
Class 4 Social aspects in development Understand what children learn in the social settings.
Class 5 Data analyses in developmental research Understand quantitative analytic techniques in the educational research.
Class 6 Individual differences in development Understand why all the students are not the same.
Class 7 Motivation and schooling Understand how motivational factors facilitate school learning.
Class 8 Feedback by the lecturer Receive feedbacks from the lecturer.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

In-class handouts

Assessment criteria and methods

10% classroom performance.
90% written examination.

Related courses

  • SHS.M449 : Educational Psychology
  • LAT.A405 : Cognitive Psychology

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites. Familiarity with psychology may help yet not required.


This course opens in every even calendar (Christian) year.

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