Return to main page Syllabus Course Flow Assignments Powerpoints Links Reading list Updated: 09/24/10

Fall, 2010

Course Number and Title PSYC& 200-Lifespan Psychology
Instructor Karen Strickland, M.S.
Office Number, Phone, email & website 3195; 587-6911;
Division Office and Phone 3212A; 587-6900
Office Hours Mon. & Wed.:  12:30-1:30; Tues. & Thurs.:  12:30-1:30 & 5:30-6:00

Text:  Development Through Life:  A Psychosocial Approach.  10th ed.  Newman & Newman, Thomson, 2009.  ISBN:13:978-0-495-55341-0

Additional reading:  A packet of additional reading assignments is available for purchase in the Copy Center, room 3105A.

Disability Notation:  If you need course adaptations or accommodation because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

Course Description:  Psychology 200 explores human development from conception to old age.  In this course, we examine the interrelationship between biosocial, cognitive and psychosocial factors as we progress through the lifespan.  One goal of the course is to develop an appreciation for the challenges and opportunities facing each age.  In Psychology 200, we practice thinking critically and creatively about development and exploring similarities and differences in gender, and across cultures and nations.

In Psychology 200 adapted for the Social and Human Services program, we also look at social and human service needs that arise when developmental tasks are unmet and how these issues can be best addressed by the human services profession, including prevention and treatment practices as applied to developmental processes.

Course Outcomes and Objectives:

Educational Philosophy 

I believe that students learn best when they are actively involved with the course content. I am also certain that all students can learn; there are barriers to learning that occur, however, and it is the responsibility of both the teacher and the student to eliminate these barriers. Below I have listed the responsibilities of each of us; by fulfilling these we can maximize your learning potential. I also believe that developing your ability to critically think through problems and information is an important part of your education. In this class I will ask you to be aware of your thinking processes; for example, are you considering all the relevant information? Are you considering other perspectives on the topic?  Are you clear about your understanding of the material? Are your ideas logical? Are you able to reflect on your reactions and responses to the material we are studying?  When presented with a situation can you draw on the knowledge you have to problem solve and make decisions?

Instructor Responsibilities

  1. To create a safe learning environment that allows for an exchange of ideas and exploration of the concepts and issues we encounter in this course.
  2. To make clear my expectations of you in regard to preparation for class, class activities and assignments.
  3. To maintain reasonable and high expectations and to hold you accountable to these.
  4. To be available to help you individually and to provide referrals to other services that may be of help to you.
  5. To give you feedback on your work so that you can increase your skills and knowledge throughout the quarter and beyond.

Student Responsibilities

  1. To arrive in class on time and be prepared to actively participate in the class session.
  2. To complete assignments on time and in accordance with the guidelines defined by me.
  3. To stay in contact with me throughout the quarter, especially if you are having difficulty, i.e. absences, not understanding the material etc. Contact can be by telephone, email, in person or in writing. Your assignments are a good place to ask questions, offer answers or keep me informed of how you are doing in the class.
  4. To be aware of how your behavior affects your classmates, the teacher and the learning atmosphere and act accordingly.
  5. To develop professionalism in the following ways:


Comments on plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as "taking and using another person's ideas and/or writing as one's own"  (Oxford American Dictionary).  It may be interpreted as the result of misunderstanding or of cheating.  It's becoming a greater problem as information is so readily available on the internet.  The forms of plagiarism I run into include quoting material from a source without identifying it as a quote and citing it and cutting and pasting material from other sources, as if written by the student.  Sometimes a student will cut and paste an entire paper and pass it off as their own work.  All of these examples are unacceptable.  If I notice that it looks like you include a quote in a paper without acknowledging it, I'll make a note on your paper and ask that you use your own words to explain the concept.  If I find that paragraphs or the entire paper are plagiarized you will receive a failing grade for the assignment.

Late Policy

Do everything you can to turn your work in on time. I have planned the assignments to coincide with the content we are covering in class and they are designed to enhance your understanding of the material. Therefore, if you don't do the assignment when it is due you are not going to get the full benefit of it. If you have an emergency and cannot complete an assignment on time, let me know.  10% will be deducted for late work.

These are the assignments you are responsible for completing this quarter.  You will receive handouts with additional details for the Biography/Autobiography Analysis.

1.  Tests (25%)  We will have three tests during the quarter, Oct. 25th, Nov. 22nd and Dec. 13th.  These are short answer and multiple choice. 

2.  Preschool Observation (10%)  We'll be using class time to observe preschoolers in the campus childcare center.  You will have an observation sheet to guide your observations and we will discuss these in class.  Then you'll write responses to the following questions.  Use examples to clearly convey your understanding of the developmental domain and how healthy development was encouraged.  Please use 12 point font, double space and make sure your work is grammatically correct.  Due:  Oct. 27th.

        1.  Please describe two observations you made of gross or fine motor movement.  Give an example of how the physical development of the children was promoted.
        2.  Please describe one observation of social skills demonstrated by a child.  Explain how an adult did or could have used reinforcement, modeling or discipline to promote social skill development.
        3.  Please describe one interaction between the adults and children that might contribute to autonomy or shame/doubt.

3.  Response Papers/Discussion (20%)  For several classroom activities you will participate in the small group discussion and turn in your written responses.  These activities include

4.  Panel Discussion (20% of grade) The panel discussion assignments (there are two) give you the opportunity to participate as a panel member, reflecting on and sharing aspects of your own developmental experience, or to observe the panel, linking what you are hearing to concepts from the text or discussed in class.  Due:  Nov. 8th and Dec. 13th.  Here's how it works.

Panel Participants:  You will review specific concepts from the text, reflect on how these relate to your experience and write 1-2 pages summarizing this.  You will then participate on the panel, first sharing the relevance of the concepts in your life and then responding to questions from the audience to the extent you are comfortable doing so. 

Panel Observers:  You will review specific concepts from the text, reflect on how these relate to your experience and write 1-2 pages summarizing this.  You will then observe the panel, ask questions if you'd like and write an additional 1-2 pages comparing your classmates' experiences with the text book analysis of the concepts.

Grading criteria for panel discussion and observation





  • Questions are partially answered
  • Student's understanding of concepts is limited
  • Answers reflect little or no reflection on topics
  • Work has many grammatical errors and/or is messy
  • All questions are fully answered
  • Student's understanding of concepts is partial
  • Answers reflect minimal reflection on topics
  • Work has some grammatical errors and/or is messy
  • All questions are fully answered
  • Student has a basic understanding of the concepts
  • Answers reflect some reflection on topics
  • Work is grammatically correct and neatly presented
  • All questions are fully answered
  • Student accurately understands concepts
  • Student has reflected on the concepts and demonstrates intellectual curiosity
  • Work is grammatically correct and neatly presented

5. Biography/Autobiography Analysis (25%)  For this assignment you will select a biography or autobiography of an individual either from the list below or of your own choosing.  I will provide details on a separate handout.  Due:  Dec. 8th.

PSYC& 200-Course Flow





Sep.  27

Syllabus; Introductions




Biological influences; Theoretical Foundations of Developmental Psychology

Newman & Newman, Ch. 1 & 3


Oct.    4

Continue Theoretical Foundations;

N & N, Ch. 2



Psychosocial Theory and Pregnancy/Prenatal

N & N, Ch. 4

"Whale Rider" Response


Continue Pregnancy/prenatal





N & N, Ch. 5

Psychosocial Analysis of Pregnancy


Infancy; Toddlerhood

N & N, Ch. 6



Continue Toddlerhood




Early School Age

N & N, Ch. 7

Test #1 - Ch. 1-6


Continue Early School Age


Preschool observation due

Nov.    1

Middle Childhood 

N & N, Ch. 8



Middle Child Panel Discussion; Early Adolescence

N & N, Ch. 9



Continue above


Panel write-up #1 due


Later Adolescence

 N & N, Ch. 10

"Mohawk Girls" Response


Continue above

Packet: "A Racial/Cultural Identity Development Model", “Helms' White Racial Identity Development Model" and "Entre una roca y una pared"



Later Adolescence; Early Adulthood

N & N, Ch. 11

Miguel Case Study Response


Early Adulthood


Test #2 - Ch. 7-10


Middle Adulthood;

N & N, Ch. 12



Continue Middle Adulthood; Begin Later Adulthood

N & N, Ch. 13


Dec.   1

Continue Later Adulthood




Aging Panel Discussion; Very Old Age

N & N, Ch. 14; Reading packet-"Social Work..."



End of Life 


Bio/Autobio Analysis
           13     Final test-1:30; Panel write-up #2 due