Module 5 - Child Development – 3 credits

 The study of human development is the study of how people grow and change over time, in response to social, cultural, biological, and psychological factors.  It is important to have an understanding of human development across the lifespan, including what theorists are saying about spiritual development.

Child development theory recognizes that children have differing needs, interests and capacities at different stages of their growth.  These have been called "stages".  These stages are not fixed, nor are they invariant. Children are unique individuals. Rather, understanding stages of growth are tools for enhancing our understanding of what children need from their education at specific times, in order to maximize their potential. 

 Child development theory has many aspects: physical development (including nutrition, general health, growth, motor development, sensory); emotional (awareness and expression of feelings); social (how the child interacts with others); cognitive (processing information, building conceptual schema, etc.  This will be expanded upon in the unit on learning theory); moral (learning "right" from 'wrong", developing compassion and sensitivity); and spiritual (a new field of inquiry).  It is recognized in the field of education that curriculum and teaching needs to be "developmentally appropriate"; that is, resonant with the level of development of the young child.  Much damage to children has been done by teaching methods that are inconsistent with developmental needs. 

 In this unit, the student carries out their first "inquiry", based on accepted methods of observation and documentation.  The readings include an introduction to this form of inquiry, as well as readings in human development.


I. Introduction

II. Human Development

¨      What is a human being?

¨      Evolution

¨      Expressions and Approaches

¨      Physical

¨      Physico-psychic

¨      Psychic

¨      I feeling

¨      Kosas (layers of the mind)

¨      States of Awareness

¨      Psycho-spiritual

¨      Cakras

¨      Spiritual

¨      Faculties

¨      Movement

¨      Motivation

¨      Stages of life span development


III. Child Development

¨      Why we study child development

¨      What is a theory of child development?

¨      Difference between development and learning

¨      Some important theories and theorists


IV. Early Childhood Development

¨      Physical

¨      Emotional

¨      Cognitive

¨      Social

¨      Moral

¨      Spiritual


V. Coursework

¨      Readings

¨      Assignments


Competency in Child Development

The student teacher has basic knowledge of the makeup of the human being and various theories and stages of child development, and is able to apply their knowledge to observing and understanding children of early childhood age.