Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
M-PSI/04 - DEVELOPMENTAL AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
On the whole, this course is aimed: (a) to provide students with a basic, updated knowledge, and conceptual and methodological tools for understanding human developmental processes in different psychological domains and different ages; (b) to promote reflections on the application of this knowledge within education contexts.
The specific aims, expressed as expected learning results, are the followings:
1. Knowledge and understanding of:
- developmental processes in different psychological domains (perceptive, motor, cognitive, emotional, communicative-linguistic, and social) from prenatal life to adolescence;
- main theories explaining these processes;
- factors which can promote or, on the contrary, hinder individual developmental trajectories.
2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding in occupational contexts with children of different ages:
- to observe children’s behavior during interactions with peers and adults;
- to build relationships with both individual and group of children;
- to project educational activities;
- to prepare educational settings and materials;
- to support parents;
- to face problematical situations.
Change processes that characterize developmental phases within different developmental domains will be presented in the light of the classic theories by Piaget, Vygotskij, Bowlby, their latest developments, and theoretical hypotheses offered by more recent research areas (e.g., infant research, theory of mind).
After an introduction to the most important issues addressed by developmental psychology, the lessons will focus on child development from prenatal and neonatal period through infancy, childhood - preschool and school years - to early adolescence and adolescence, investigating developmental changes and factors and processes underlying changes.
Sociocultural approach will be presented as a main theoretical framework to address fundamental topics such as the interdependence between biological and cultural factors in individual developmental and learning paths.
A particular attention will be paid to:
- the relationship between socio-emotional and cognitive processes;
- individual and cultural differences;
- the role played by the child’s motivation and emotional self-regulation in learning processes.
During lessons, explanations supported by visual devises will be alternated with moments in which students will be actively engaged in discussions and analyses of research videos illustrative of concepts and issues addressed.
The preparation of the exam includes the study of an handbook of Developmental Psychology, a monograph, and a volume on Education Psychology:
1) Belsky, J. (2007/2009). Psicologia dello sviluppo, Vol. I. Bologna: Zanichelli, no chapters 2 (specifically from p.28 to p.72) and 10.
2) One of the following volumes, according to the personal interest:
Lavelli, M. (2007). Intersoggettività. Origini e primi sviluppi. Milano: Raffaello Cortina, only the introduction and the second part.
Siegal, M. (1999). Conversazione e sviluppo cognitivo. Milano: Raffaello Cortina, no chapters 3, 5, 7.
Pietropolli Charmet, G. (2000). I nuovi adolescenti. Padri e madri di fronte a una sfida. Milano: Raffaello Cortina.
3) Boscolo, P. (2012). La fatica e il piacere di imparare. Psicologia della motivazione scolastica. Torino: UTET.
Written exam: the student will have 2 hours to answer to six open questions on topics illustrated in the exam texts (see above). Requests to describe (to assess knowledge), to discuss (to assess understanding and ability to relate different pieces of information), and to apply the acquired knowledge to specific educational contexts (to assess the ability to translate knowledge in practice) will be included in the exam.
Evaluation will be focused on:
- understanding and ability to elaborate knowledge;
- ability to apply knowledge and understanding to interpret a child’s behavior (a brief case);
- ability to communicate in a clear and effective way, by using adequate terminology and correct syntax.