photograph of children

Culture, Communication and the Development of Thinking
California State University, Sacramento
Spring, 2002





Research Paper



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Class Participation (5%)
Students are expected to attend each scheduled class and lab session, as some of the material covered in class will not be covered by the text. Further, students are expected to have read the assigned reading BEFORE lecture in order to be ready to participate in periodic class discussions. Please bring your text and/or a copy of the assigned supplementary reading to class each week.  

Your participation grade is based on the following: 

Attendance:  If you do not attend class, you penalize yourself in two ways: first by missing important information that might be on the exam, and second by lowering your participation grade. Attendance will be taken. Missing more than two class periods may result in an "F" for your participation grade.  

Active Participation in classroom  activities: There will be both small and large group discussion. You will be assigned a grade based on your participation in these sessions.









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Exams (37.5%)

There will be three non-cumulative exams, each worth 50 points.. These exams will cover readings, lectures, class activities, and videos. A study guide will be posted on the web page two weeks prior to each exam.

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. 





Tues 3/5


Tues 4/16


Tues 5/21 (5:15-7:15)

See detailed handout with sample questions







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Observation Assignments (25%)
The lab portion of the course requires systematic observation of children in community settings. There will be three observations, each concerning a topic associated with social and emotional development. Each assignment requires approximately 2-3 hours of observation. Each observation is worth 10 points

In addition, two of the observations will be written up as a report. Each paper is approximately 8 (double-spaced) pages in length and should adhere to APA style.  and each written paper is worth 25 points. You may access handouts for these assignments using WebCT.

Observation Assignment

   Due dates
Observation             Paper

1)  Theory of Mind 

Tu 2/12

Tu 2/26

2)  Gender Constancy

Tu 3/19

Tu 4/9

3)  Peer Interaction

Tu 4/23

Tu 5/7

See detailed handout









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Presentation (10%)
The class will be divided into pairs to present 13 empirical articles (see  list). Dates for particular articles are listed on the course schedule.  Your presentation should be 12-15 minutes in length, and cover the (most) important points of your article. Please email your first three choices for presentation articles and any requests for partners by Tuesday, February 5th. After the articles are assigned, you will need to read your article, meet with your partner, and develop an outline/handout (due Tuesday, February 19th). You may want to use the course WebCT page to communicate with your presentation partner using email or chat rooms.

  See detailed handout









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Research Paper (15%)

A 6-8 page (double-spaced) research paper is required. This assignment is designed to allow you to investigate a (social developmental) topic of your choice in more depth than a survey course permits. The paper is intended to be a focused and integrated review of recent empirical research (at least 4 empirical articles). 

Intermediate versions of your paper are due throughout the semester:


Due date

A one sentence description of topic (via email)

Tu 2/12

A one-page outline and reference list (APA style) 

Tu 3/19

A rough draft for instructor review (optional, but encouraged)

Tu 4/23

Final paper

Fri 5/17


See detailed handout






Send problems, comments or suggestions to:

California State University, Sacramento

College of Education

Department of Child Development

Updated: March 17, 2002

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