Spring, 2012


  Child Development 145 (01; 66-69)
  Controversial Issues in Child Development


Announcements 5/14/12





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Course Description

Discussion-based examination of controversial issues linking development, education, and cultural practice in which scholarly inquiry has substantial implications for social policy. Specific topics vary by semester and include topics of both historical relevance and contemporary debates. Content relevant to multiple disciplines, including issues such as adolescent risk behavior, bilingual education, brain-based pedagogy, child care, children and the law, cultural diversity, developmental theory and educational practice, gender, literacy practices, motivation, parenting styles, school violence, special education, standardized testing, and technological change.

CHDV 145 satisfies a 3-unit upper division general education requirement in Area D2 (Major Social Issues of the Contemporary Era) of The Individual and Society as well as the Race and Ethnicity requirement.











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Course Objectives

    Upon completion of this course students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity that exists in human societies;

  • Identify different viewpoints on controversial issues related to child development and education;

  • Apply methods of scholarly inquiry to compare conflicting viewpoints on debates about child development and education;

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues involved and arguments made in the following contemporary issues confronting U.S. society: class, discrimination, education, gender, poverty, race, technology;

  • Analyze controversial issues in child development and education from a sociocultural, critical theory perspective;

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the contributions to human society of at least two of the following groups: women, ethnic, religious, socio-economic, gays and lesbians, and persons with disabilities;

  • Evaluate developmental and educational practices using theory and research as tools of scholarly inquiry;

  • Integrate theoretical, empirical and practical realms of knowledge on topics linking child development and education.








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Class Meetings


  Lecture/Disc: Wed
1:00 – 3:50 Library 53

  Instructor Office hours: W/Th 9:15-10:15 am;
                                            Th 12:30-1:30 pm
                                            BRH 232









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Required Reading

Readings for the course will be linked to the online course schedule.  See the instructor for password on password protected documents. Due dates for reading assignments are listed on the course schedule. You should  complete the listed reading before Wednesday's class meeting each week. Please bring a copy of the assigned reading to class when noted on the course schedule.

A full list of assigned readings, as well as additional references you may find useful for your papers may be found on the course reading list.











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Required Assignments

Click on the red links below for detailed assignment handouts.

1) Discussion Assignments and Activities  - A portion of your grade is determined by completion of several assignments and in-class activities related to the day’s topic. Descriptions and due dates for each assignment are listed on the course web page. Discussion assignments are accepted DURING CLASS TIME ONLY on the date they are due, and you must be present in class to receive full credit. No late discussion assignments will be accepted.

2) Exams - There will be two in class essay exams, each worth 50 points (out of a total of 300 for the semester). Exams will cover readings, lectures, and class activities and will be OPEN BOOK/NOTE. A study guide will be posted on the course web page one week prior to each exam.

3) Position Papers  –Three position papers are required, each worth 30 points. Papers require a discussion of theory, research and practices related to controversial issues covered in course readings and class discussions. The first and second papers may be revised to improve your grade.

4) Book Club - Groups of students will read and discuss one of five books during two "book club” sessions. Before each session, students will submit discussion questions and assignments related to their group’s book. Each group will present a summary of their book to the class at the last book club meeting. We will be choosing books and forming groups the first day of class. Participation in book club meetings is required for full credit on assignments.












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Grades and Grading Policy

Grades are based on the percentage of points earned. Points are assigned in the following manner.   

Discussion Assignments

  80 points


Essay Exams (2 @ 50 pts ea )

100 points


Position Papers (3@ 30 pts ea)

  90 points


Book Club assignments/meetings

  30 points



 300 points


Typically, 94% earns an 'A', 84% a 'B', and 74% a 'C'. Plus (+) and minus (-) grades will be determined by final class distribution of total points.  I reserve the right to adjust this scale as needed, based on student performance.











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Additional Policies

  • Students are expected to practice academic honesty in completing assignments and cheating or plagiarism will not be tolerated.  Academic dishonesty may result in an ‘F’ for the assignment and/or the course. 

  • Students are responsible for knowing when assignments are due.  All due dates are listed on the course schedule on the course web page. Late assignments will not receive full credit with 5% of the total points possible deducted for each day the assignment is late.  

  • Although attendance will not be taken nor a participation grade assigned, to do well in this course requires your attendance AND active participation! You are expected to attend class sessions, and to have read the assigned reading before class sessions in order to be ready to participate fully in the class. Please note that I will accept discussion/homework assignments ONLY DURING CLASS SESSIONS on the day they are due. You must be present in class in order to receive full credit for discussion and book club assignments.

  • Please refrain from engaging in distracting activities during class time.  This includes cell phone use/texting (and leaving class to “take” non-emergency calls), talking with classmates, tardiness/leaving early, and/or use of laptops except for the purposes of taking class notes. Such behavior is disruptive and unprofessional.

  • There will be no extra credit offered in this course. Extra credit is not necessary to earn an A in the course.

  • Incomplete ('I') grades are not assigned UNLESS there is a compelling reason to do so. An incomplete will be assigned ONLY upon consultation with instructor. 

  • There are no scheduled make-up exams. If there is a scheduling problem, you must speak with me prior to the (day of the) exam. The only valid excuses for missing an exam are: (a) official University business, (b) illness, or (c) family emergency. All of these require documentation (e.g., letter from doctor) to be valid. 

  • I wish to include persons with disability in this course. Please let me know (hembrees@csus.edu) if there are any accommodations I can make in curriculum, instruction, or assessment to facilitate your full participation. I will try to maintain confidentiality on this topic.  

  • This upper division course requires a significant amount of writing. For free, one-on-one help with writing in this or any class, visit the University Reading and Writing Center in Calaveras 128. The Writing Center can help you at any stage in your reading and writing processes: coming up with a topic, developing and organizing a draft, understanding difficult texts, or developing strategies to become a better editor. To make an appointment or a series of appointments, visit the Reading and Writing Center in CLV 128 or call 278-6356. For current Writing Center hours and more information, visit the website at www.csus.edu/writingcenter .




Send problems, comments or suggestions to: hembrees@csus.edu. Updated: January, 2012

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