Child Development 210
  Seminar in Social Development 
  Spring, 2012 - Hembree








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Course Description

Advanced seminar focusing on theoretical and empirical readings covering topics in social/emotional development. Potential topics may include social and emotional development of children from conception through adolescence with consideration of biological and environmental influences.











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Course Objectives
  Upon successful completion of this course students will:

  • Develop an understanding of current research and theory in social development
  • Explore and develop an appreciation for multiple influences on social development, including biological, social and cultural influences
  • Develop skills related to scholarly writing, critical thinking, and oral presentation
  • Apply course content to educational, familial and/or community settings
  • Summarize, analyze and critically evaluate empirical research on social development
  • Develop an integrated, well-organized literature review/and proposal paper










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Class Meetings/Office Hours


Class meets: Tues  5:00 - 7:50 p.m. Brighton Hall 214 

Instructor Office Hours: Wed/Thur: 9:15-10:15 am
                                           Thur 12:30 - 1:30 pm
                                           (or by appointment)

Instructor Contact: BRH 232;  278-4365 or









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Required Reading

Reading assignments are listed on the course schedule. Readings are linked to the schedule with password protection. Please see the instructor for the password. Due dates for each reading are listed on the course outline. You will also need to purchase the Publication Manual for the American Psychological Association (5th edition) if you have not already done so.












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Course requirements are listed below. More detailed handouts are available on by clicking the green links.

1) Participation/Discussion Questions
The course will be set up in “seminar” format. Thus, we need (and want) everyone’s participation! Students are expected to attend each scheduled class and to have read the assigned reading beforehand in order to be ready to participate in class discussion. Please complete the reading assignment BEFORE class and bring your text and/or a copy of the assigned supplementary reading to class each week.

In addition, you will need to develop at least two discussion questions based on the assigned reading each week. Questions must be emailed to me at each week before noon on Monday to receive credit. These questions will serve as the basis of class discussion for the day. No late discussion questions are accepted.  A participation grade will be assigned based on (a)  participation in class discussion and (b) completion of weekly discussion questions.

2) Discussion Leader
Each student will serve as a discussion leader for one of the assigned empirical articles (see starred articles on course outline). Articles will be chosen early in the semester. Discussion leaders are not responsible for formal presentation of material per se (although some explanation of relevant constructs/concepts may be helpful, depending on the article). Instead, discussion leaders should facilitate class discussion of the article, acting as an “expert”, or at least as someone who has studied the article in some depth. Discussion leaders will have access to student-generated discussion questions the afternoon before class, and should have ready several additional discussion questions. Discussions for a given article will vary from 15-40 minutes.

3) Article Summary/Critique
Students will choose three empirical articles (see starred items on course outline) from three different class sessions as the basis for three short 3-4 (double-spaced) page summary/critique papers. Papers should include a summary of the study (intro, method, results, discussion), as well as an evaluation of the study's method and/or conclusions. You may use your discussion leader article for one of these papers. Summary papers are due on the date the article is covered in class.


4) Research or Intervention proposal
Students are required to write a 15-18 page research or intervention proposal on a topic related to social/emotional development. You may choose between writing a traditional proposal for a research study or developing a research-based intervention program. In both cases, a significant literature review is required. Intermediate steps to this paper are due throughout the semester. Please see assignment handout or course schedule for due dates.

Final papers are due on the last day of class (May 8th). Late papers will not receive full credit (5 % of total points will be deducted for each day late).  On the last day of class, students will provide a brief (5-10 minute) presentation of their proposal to the class.













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Grades and Grading Policy

Grades are based on the percentage of points earned (out of a possible 300). Points are assigned in the following manner:



 Participation/Discussion        (25%)

  75 points

 Discussion Leader                 (13%)

  40 points

 Critique papers - 3@25 pts    (25%)    

  75 points

 Research proposal                 (37%)  

 110 points


 300 points

Typically, 94% earns an ‘A’, 84% a ‘B’, and 74% a ‘C’. However, I reserve the right to adjust this scale as needed, based on student performance.














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Additional Policies

  1. 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. If you have any questions about this policy, please see the instructor.

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

  1. Out of respect for me and other students, please refrain from engaging in distracting activities during class time, e.g., arriving late/leaving early, cell phone use, side-conversations with other students, and web browsing/texting. 

  1. Incomplete ('I') grades are not assigned UNLESS there is a compelling reason to do so. An incomplete will be assigned ONLY with prior consultation and approval of instructor.

Please note:  I wish to include persons with disability in this course.  Please let me know if there are any accommodations I can make in curriculum, instruction, or assessment to facilitate your full participation.





Send problems, comments or suggestions to: Updated: January 15, 2012

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