Undergraduate Course: Cognitive and Social Child Development in Education (EDUA10150)
|Moray House School of Education
|College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)
|SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
|Available to all students
|This course will provide students with an opportunity to extend their knowledge of current psychological theories and research on cognitive and social child development. Throughout the course the links between psychological research/theories of children's development and educational policy and practice will be discussed. The course will encourage students to critically evaluate psychology theory and research, and to take an evidence-based approach to understanding how psychology can inform education. Research methods, the process of conducting child development research, and the ethical issues involved will also be discussed. Students will be encouraged to reflect on how they can use their knowledge of child development to enhance their practice in engaging children in learning and supporting children's social development. Throughout the course the emphasis will be on understanding the child within their home, social and cultural contexts. The course team and invited guest speakers bring together research expertise in cognitive and social development, atypical development, and educational psychology. Throughout the course they will draw on their own research to highlight the important connections between psychological research and educational practice.
This course is designed to provide student with an opportunity to extend their knowledge of a range of current psychological theories and research on cognitive and social child development. These topics may include, for example: attachment theory, executive function, memory and learning, neuroscience in Education, theory of mind development, the role of physical activity in cognitive development, friendships and play.
Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to reflect on their experience working with children (e.g. in schools) and to consider how the developmental psychology research fits with their own experiences, observations and reflections. Indeed, the links between psychological research/theories of children's development and educational policy and practice will be a central theme running throughout this course. Students will be encouraged to critically evaluate psychology theory and research, and to take an evidence-based approach to understanding the two-way relationship between developmental psychology and education.
Throughout the sessions there will be discussion of both classic and recent research findings, and through this students will be provided with opportunities to reflect on developmental psychology research methods and ethics. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to consider development holistically, considering the two-way relationship between the individual and their environment (e.g. family) and the role that societal and cultural factors play in children's life experiences and development.
The course will be divided into ten sessions. The first eight of these sessions focus on a different aspect of child development and the links between psychological research/theory and education. Specific topics are likely to change from year to year, but may include: attachment theory, executive function, memory and learning, neuroscience in Education, theory of mind development, the role of physical activity in cognitive development, friendships and play. The final sessions focus on formative assessment and summative assessment preparation.
Student learning experience:
In the weekly classes, students will be asked to engage with a range of learning experiences, including: interactive lecture content; discussion of video clips; small and whole group discussion; small group tasks; and (where possible) input from guest speakers.
Outwith classes, students will be asked to undertake and reflect on reading before each class. Reading is likely to be a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research, but students will be provided with some support in critical reading of developmental psychology research. To support them in the course assignment, they will also be encouraged to engage with resources provided in class and via other sources (e.g. the Institute for Academic Development).
Students will be expected to evidence and demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes via discussion, input into group activities, and, ultimately, in the formative and summative assignments.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of a range of psychological theories and research on cognitive and social child development
- Demonstrate a thoughtful consideration of the influence of the environment and society in which the child learns and develops.
- Critically evaluate developmental psychology research, demonstrating a broad awareness of the research methods and ethical issues of relevance to this field of research
- Critically reflect on the applications of psychological theories and research to education
- Apply insights from developmental psychology research to the analysis of specific educational issues
|There will be weekly set reading and it is essential that you study before each seminar. The weekly readings will be listed on the course site on Learn.
The following book is recommended reading for the course. It is of relevance to many (although not all) of the sessions, particularly the cognitive sessions. Please try to ensure that you have good access to this core textbook:
Goswami (2008). Cognitive development: The learning brain. Hove: Psychology Press.
Other useful books
The titles below form a wider selection of references that you might find helpful during the course. The list is suggestive rather than exhaustive and there is no expectation that you read them all or that you buy them. Once you have chosen your assignment topic, however, you will wish to pursue relevant reading and this list will act as a starter guide (although journal articles will also be a core source for your assignment).
Doherty, M. J. (2009). Theory of Mind: How Children Understand Others Thoughts and Feelings. Hove: Psychology Press.
Grossman, K. E., Grossman, K., & Waters, E. (2003). Attachment from Infancy to Adulthood: The major longitudinal studies. Guilford Press: New York.
Howe, C. (2010). Peer Groups and Children┐s Development. Oxford: Blackwell.
Hughes, C. (2011). Social Understanding and Social Lives: From Toddlerhood through to the Transition to School. London: Psychology Press.
Rogers, S. (Ed.) (2011). Rethinking Play and Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education. Oxon: Routledge.
Rogoff, B. (1990). Apprenticeship in Thinking: Cognitive Development in Social Context. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Smith, P.K. (2010). Children and Play. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|A. Research and Enquiry
- search for, evaluate and use information from a range of sources, to develop their knowledge and understanding
- recognise the need to challenge knowledge
-reflect on links between research and educational policy/practice
B. Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
- be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
- be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflection and self-development
- be able to use collaboration and debate effectively to test and develop their own views
- be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest
- further their own learning through effective use of a range of communication approaches, including effective questioning
- synthesis and clearly communicate key research findings to peers
- seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
D. Personal Effectiveness
- be able to work effectively with others, capitalising on their different thinking, experience and skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
|Weekly classes of 2.5 hours
|Mrs Roxanne Hawkins
|Miss Deirdre Houston
Tel: (0131 6)51 6381