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Psychological and Developmental Issues in Early Childhood

Overview

  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Assessment: two 1500-word pieces of coursework, such as essays, case studies, reports or class presentations

Module description

This module aims to explore the potential impact of a range of developmental and psychological disorders and adverse experiences on children’s lives and their education.

Indicative module content

  • Introduction: a brief recap of appropriate concepts and theories in order to contextualise the planned areas of discussion. This part of the course will also consider the ethical and methodological problems of research with children.
  • Developmental Disorders: we will use our understanding of children’s development to explore the current key explanations and for a range of developmental conditions. Although the interests of students will to some extent inform the exact content of this section of the course, it is anticipated that conditions such as attachment disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, dyslexia and dyspraxia will be considered. Strategies for managing and/or treating these conditions will be discussed as appropriate.
  • Psychological Disorders: we will use our understanding of children’s development to explore the current key explanations and for a range of psychological conditions. Although the interests of students will to some extent inform the exact content of this section of the course, it is anticipated that conditions such as depression, anxiety and school phobia will be considered. Strategies for managing and/or treating these conditions will be discussed as appropriate.
  • Adverse Experiences: we will consider the impact of a number of adverse experiences in children’s lives. Although the specific interests of students will to some extent inform the exact content of this section of the course, it is anticipated that neglect, abuse, bereavement, bullying and trauma will be considered. Strategies for supporting and/or treating children with such experiences will be discussed as appropriate.

Learning objectives

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • outline and critically evaluate the key explanations for the causes of a range of psychological conditions
  • describe and evaluate the potential impact of these conditions on children’s lives and education
  • outline and critically evaluate the current psychological thinking on the impact of a range of adverse experiences on children’s lives and education
  • recognise a range of research methods that might be appropriate to the study of this area of psychology (identifying strengths and weaknesses of core methodologies)
  • identify the ethical issues when conducting research in this area (with particular consideration of harm)
  • demonstrate an appropriate awareness of cultural considerations in the evaluation of theory and research.