Human Development Courses
The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2015-2016 academic year.
Graduate Human Development courses are designated as HDF. Undergraduate Human Development courses are designated by discipline: anthropology (HDA), psychology (HDP), and sociology (HDS).
Lifespan Development I: Birth through Adolescence
Examines physical, cognitive, social, moral and emotional development from conception through adolescence. Discusses theory and research from different psychological approaches. Pays special attention to the social and cultural contexts in which development occurs.
Infant and Toddler Behavior and Development
Integrates theory, research and practical experience about the first three years of life through a trans-disciplinary approach. Considers development across domains and the impact of parent-child relationships, peer relationships, and early socialization patterns on young children’s development. Observing and recording an infant or young child’s behavior and development required.
Child Development: The Early Years
Examines development from the prenatal period to age 9 across physical-motor, social, emotional, and cognitive domains. Articulates the interactive roles of heredity, environment, and culture. Implications for curriculum design are drawn.
Lifespan Development II: Adult Development
Examines development from the transition into adulthood through old age. Theory and research from different psychological approaches are presented. Topics include changes in cognition; moral, psychosocial, interpersonal and physical development; and typical adult developmental tasks in different cultures.
Children’s Cognitive Development
Examines ways in which children construct knowledge about physical and social worlds. Considers contributions of Piagetian, information processing and sociocultural theories in understanding children’s cognitive development. Introduces students to clinical interviewing techniques. Requires exploratory research with children. Offered in conjunction with HDP 352.
Memory, Identity, and Development
Explores the dynamics of autobiographical memory and the development of identity. Topics include memories from personal experiences, public events, childhood amnesia, individual, gender, and cultural differences; life transitions, traumatic events, eyewitness testimony, collective memories, mad memory disorders. Students apply course readings to understand aspects of memory through observations and written assignments. Offered in conjunction with HDP 325.
The Meaning and Development of Play
Explores the meaning and development of play from infancy through adulthood through theories, research, and application. Examines value of play in therapeutic, educational and medical settings; how the environment (including toys and media) influences play; how to support play, integrate it into professional work, and advocate for play.
In the Best Interest of the Child (formerly Children and Families in American Society)
Explores issues in the history of children and families focusing on family structure and functions and the rise of the “child experts.” Topics include: the Puritan family, 19th century transformations, origins of juvenile justice, federal programs, child guidance, gender norms, adoption, Head Start. Provides solid foundation for child advocacy. Offered in conjunction with AST 285.
Risk and Resilience in Infancy
Reviews etiology, behavioral characteristics, developmental outcomes and family impact of infants born at environmental, biological, or established risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Reviews roles of medicine, nursing, social work, education and the developmental therapies in meeting the needs of these children. Introduces early intervention services and offers opportunities to observe. Prerequisites: Prior knowledge or previous course work in infant and toddler development.
Language, Literacy and Culture
Examines interrelationships among language, race, culture, ethnicity and identity. Focuses on dialectal diversity within English and its relationship to the development of academic language proficiency in multi-lingual school contexts. Explores pragmatic aspects of language use including stylistic variation, code-switching and intercultural communication. Encourages students to examine their own linguistic biases.
Anthropology and Globalization
Introduces the diversities and similarities of cultures throughout the world from simple homogeneous groups to complex contemporary civilizations, including our own. Emphasis will be placed on the development of personality and the role of the family in the total cultural complex. General Education: Perspectives on Diversity, also Self and Society or Ethics and Social Justice. Introductory.
Anthropology of American Men
Examines the social and cultural construction of masculinity in the United States using the theories and methods of Anthropology. Topics include race, class, ethnicity, and religion; popular images of American men (e.g., movies, magazines, sports, jokes); relationship of US manhood to sexuality, war, and women. Some comparison to other cultures. General Education: Perspectives on Diversity, Self and Society or Historical Perspectives. Intermediate.
HDA/PSG 226 (formerly HDS 225)
Perspectives on Global Health
Explores the social and cultural aspects of health and illness. Emphasis is on the varied ways that illness is defined and treated throughout the world. Readings draw upon the disciplines of sociology and anthropology. Topics include witchcraft, faith-healing, and alternative medicine in the U.S. Special focus on the inequities of health care and outcomes. General Education: Perspectives on Diversity, Self and Society or Ethics and Social Justice. Intermediate.
Sex and Culture
Analyzes how culture, gender relationships, social power differences, and human physiology shape how we define sex, sexual, and sexuality in American culture. Explores how the ‘’science’’ of human sexuality is used to reproduce and reinforce inequalities. Draws on sociological, anthropological and sociobiological theories. Intermediate.
Religion in America
Investigates different religious traditions in the United States, past and present, while studying social science theories of religion. Topics include: Why does religion exist; how different religions assimilate or resist citizenship; the tension between “religious freedom” and the “common good”; consumerism and religion; religions in Boston; what does religion do for us that so many Americans are religious; does truth matter, and are there ‘fake’ religions? General Education: Perspectives on Diversity. Historical Perspectives or Self and Society. Intermediate.
Anthropology and the Family
Investigates the organizations, functions and diversity of families in selected non-Western societies and in the United States. . Focuses on marriage, kinship, childhood, parenting, gender, motherhood, and fatherhood. farming societies, and market based societies. Prerequisite: HDP 120-121 or HDP 124-125. General Education: Perspectives on Diversity, Self and Society or Historical Perspectives. Intermediate.
Globalization and Human Rights
Explores the processes and outcomes of globalization and analyzes basic Human Rights literature and its application to the global economy. Students will also discover how their daily actions and interactions impact the lives of others, particularly those in impoverished nations. Prerequisite: HDP 120-121, 122-123 or HDP 124-125, 126-127. General Education: Perspectives on Diversity and Self and Society OR Ethics and Social Justice. Advanced.
Introduction to Psychology
Introduces the psychological study of human behavior and experience. The history, scope and methods of contemporary psychology are described. Topic include: perception, learning, memory, intelligence, emotion, language and thought, social interaction in small and large groups, behavior and mood disorders and treatment, psychology and health. General Education: Self and Society. Introductory.
Provides an introduction to theories and research on how individuals are influenced by others. Topics include social perception, affiliation and interpersonal attraction, altruism, aggression, stereotyping and prejudice, group dynamics and conflict resolution. The application of social psychological knowledge to current social problems will be discussed. General Education: Self and Society. Introductory.
Human Growth and Development — Theory
Studies major developmental shifts from conception through the end of early childhood across social, emotional, biological, and cultural domains. Emphasis on competing theoretical perspectives, the role of socio-cultural contexts, and cultural diversity. Particular connections between theory, research, and practice. General Education: Foundations of Knowledge and Inquiry Human Growth and Development. Introductory.
Human Growth and Development II—Theory
Studies major developmental shifts from middle childhood through the end of late adulthood across social, emotional, biological, and cognitive domains. Emphasis on competing theoretical perspectives, the role of socio-cultural contexts, and cultural diversity. Particular connections between theory, research, and practice. General Education: Foundations of Knowledge and Inquiry Human Growth and Development. Introductory.
Human Growth and Development:
One-half day per week of field work. First semester placements include group settings for young children; second semester placements include settings with older children, adolescents, or adults, individualized to meet students’ interests. Guided observations (first semester) and journals (second semester). General Education: Foundations of Knowledge and Inquiry Human Growth and Development.
Human Growth and Development (Intensive)
Explores physical, cognitive, social and emotional development across life span. HDP 124 devoted to development through preschool. HDP 126 focuses on development from middle childhood through late adulthood. Trains in observing, recording and interpreting young children’s behavior and in collecting and analyzing clinical interview data. Designed for transfer students. Students may be exempted from all or part of this course by passing a written examination or through articulation agreement. Completion or exemption from HDP 124 is required for entry into HDP 126. General Education: Foundations of Knowledge and Inquiry Human Growth and Development
Human Growth and Development: Field Work (Intensive)
One-half day a week field placement in group setting for young children. Uses guided observations and journals to articulate connections between developmental theory, observed behavior and work with individuals in field placement setting. General Education: Foundations of Knowledge and Inquiry Human Growth and Development
Theories of Personality
Deals with contemporary theories of personality and their historical derivations, with emphasis on the psychoanalytic, behavioristic, humanistic, cognitive and interpersonal approaches. Attention is given to the major issues involved in the differing conceptualization of personality. Prerequisite: HDP 120/121 or HDP 124/125. Intermediate.
Examines theories concerning the formation, functioning and development of families. Different theoretical frameworks considered are the family systems approach; symbolic interaction; and role exchange and conflict theories. The capacity of the theories to explain phenomena such as family stress, family dynamics, the decision to have children and divorce is addressed. Prerequisite: HDP 120.. Intermediate.
Provides overview of the nature of psychopathology. Examines the etiology, classification, and treatment of emotional disturbance. Attends to the criteria for defining abnormal behavior and to the physiological, interpersonal, and cultural factors involved. Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Intermediate.
Theories of Emotional Development
Provides an overview of emotional development throughout the life span. Explores implications of theory and research for curriculum development, social programs and policy. Prerequisite HDP 120/121 or introductory level psychology course or the equivalent. HDP 264, HDS 264, or, for students double-majoring in Human Development and Social Work, SWK 268. Intermediate.
Provides an overview of strength-based approaches in psychology that explore the origins of happiness, optimism, gratitude and hope of individuals, communities and nations. Introduces participants to theory, research and practice of positive psychology. Prerequisite HDP 120/121 or introductory level psychology course or the equivalent. Intermediate.
Surveys theory and research on language development from birth through school-age. Examines the various components of signed and spoken language and their acquisition. Considers bilingualism, relationships between oral and written language, atypical language development, and the sociocultural context of children’s language use. Prerequisite: HDP 120/121 or HDP 124/125.
Infant and Toddler Behavior and Development
Integrates theory, research and practical experience about the first three years of life through a transdisciplinary approach. Considers development across domains and the impact of parent-child relationships, peer relationships, and early socialization patterns on young children’s development. Observing and recording an infant or young child’s behavior and development required. Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Intermediate.
Introduces scientific methods of inquiry in psychology. Examines research design, selection of measures, data collection, descriptive analyses, and research ethics. Individual research projects are required. Prerequisite: HDP 120/121 or HDP 124/125.
Examines contemporary theory and research on motivational factors in learning among children K-12. Explores family, school, societal, and cultural influence on children’s beliefs and attitudes about learning. Topics include conceptions of effort and ability, teacher expectancies, intrinsic motivation, gender influences, tracking, and cross-cultural differences in achievement motivation. Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Intermediate.
Infants, Toddlers, and the Media
Understand the effects of brand marketing and screen media exposure on young children’s development, imagination and play. Course discussion is based on research focusing on the consequences of exposure, including obesity, impairment of neurological development, aggression, child’s distorted sense of reality, and vulnerability to commercialism and materialism. Prerequisites: HDP 120-121; HDP 122 – 123; recommended: HDP 257. Intermediate.
Children and the Media
Examines impact of print and electronic media (radio, television, video games, computers and the Internet) on children’s development. Explores curriculum and policy responses to children’s fascination with the media. Prerequisite: HDP 120/121 or HDP 124-/125. Intermediate.
Children with Special Needs
Provides an introduction to characteristics of individuals with various exceptional conditions. Explores areas of human functioning impacted by these conditions. Includes overview of social, educational, and political context of the development of exceptional children. General Education: Self and Society. Intermediate.
Provides an overview of child and adult psychotherapy. Discusses psychoanalytic, client-centered, cognitive, behavioral, narrative, couple’s, and family systems approaches to counseling. Explores impact of gender, class and race on therapeutic relationships. Uses case studies in print and video and role play to illustrate different forms of psychotherapy. Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Advanced.
Children’s Political Lives
Pursues three objectives: to reconstruct the stages or phases of political understanding children bring to the political process; to explore how children’s political beliefs and attitudes are shaped by their political environment (e.g., race, class, nationality, historical circumstances, society’s level of development); and to develop strategies for children’s political empowerment Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Offered in conjunction with HDF 791. Advanced.
HDP/ AST 323
Examines nature of media-its violence, sexism, racism and commercialism; why it is this way; how it shapes children’s development, attitudes and behavior, families, and society; how to develop broad-based media literacy which incorporates conflict resolution, anti-racism, anti-sexism efforts into professional settings and everyday life; policy and advocacy issues. (Advanced Psychology, Advanced American Studies, Advanced Communications). Prerequisite: One course in Human Development.
Memory, Identity, and Development
Explores the dynamics of autobiographical memory and the development of identity. Topics include memories from personal experiences, public events, childhood amnesia, individual, gender, and cultural differences; life transitions, traumatic events, eyewitness testimony, collective memories, mad memory disorders. (Advanced Psychology, Advanced Children, Family, and Culture; open to honors, juniors and seniors). General Education: Perspectives on Diversity and Upper Level Writing (after ENG 121).
Asian American Psychology
Examines the psychological experiences of Asian Americans, including the historical, sociopolitical, and cultural influences that shape personality and mental health. Explores foundational concepts, such as culture, ethnicity, and race, as they pertain to diverse Asian Americans, and considers cultural competence, intervention and prevention strategies in working with Asian Americans. Prerequisites: HDP 120-121/ HDP 122-123 or HDP 124-125/ HDP 126-127. General Education: Self and Society and Ethics and Social Justice and Perspectives on Diversity. Advanced.
Psychology of Race
Interdisciplinary investigation of the historical, ideological, structural, cultural, and individual manifestations of race and racism in society. Examines how the intersection of race with social class, gender, ethnicity, identity, and sexuality shapes the human experience, and how these factors operate as systems of power and inequality which differentially advantage and disadvantage groups. Gen Education: Perspectives on Diversity and Ethics and Social Justice. Prerequisites: HDP 120/122.
Examines major theories of cognitive development from infancy through adolescence. Considers contributions of Piagetian stage theory, information processing, and Vygotskian socio-historical theories to account for children’s capacities to construct knowledge and understand the world. Prerequisite: HDP 264. Offered in conjunction with HDF 521. Advanced.
The Achievement Gap
Examines critically why racial and ethnic differences in academic achievement in the U.S. continue by investigating societal, cultural and familial factors. Explores the roles of institutional racism, cultural beliefs and parental socialization practices. Scrutinizes international achievement differences, and analyzes cutting edge solutions to close the achievement gap. Advanced. Prerequisites: HDP 120/121 and122/123.
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Child Care
Uses sociocultural frameworks to examine the practices of non-parental caretaking of young children within the United States and worldwide. Focus on both center-based and less formal practices of child care. Students examine ways to become sensitive in working with children of cultures other than their own. General Education: Upper Level Writing (after ENG 121). Prerequisite: HDP 264, or, for students double-majoring in Human Development and Social Work, SWK 268 or HDS 264. Offered in conjunction with HDF 658. Advanced.
The Meaning and Development of Play
Explores the meaning and development of play from infancy through adulthood through theories, research, and application. Examines value of play in therapeutic, educational and medical settings; how the environment (including toys and media) influences play; how to support play, integrate it into professional work, and advocate for play. Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Advanced.
Draws on disciplines of psychology, education, biology and sociology to provide a multidisciplinary perspective of adolescent development. Examines risk and protective factors within home, school and community that shape development within and across the contexts of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Advanced.
Examines development from the transition into adulthood through old age. Theory and research from different psychological approaches are presented. Topics include changes in cognitive, moral, psychosocial, interpersonal and physical development; and typical adult developmental tasks in the context of culture. Open to juniors and seniors. Offered in conjunction with HDF 515. Advanced.
Humor and Child Development
Explores the role of humor in children’s development. Topics include: the structure of humor, its social, cultural, emotional and cognitive dimensions. Provided with opportunities to apply knowledge of children’s humor by assessing children’s behavior in a variety of settings. (e.g., classroom, hospital, library, home, environment, playground). Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Advanced.
Emotional Problems of Children
Introduces major approaches to understanding and programming for young children with emotional problems. Examines psycho-educational, behavioral, and ecological perspectives concerning the assessment and treatment of children with emotional problems. Emphasis on utilizing these perspectives to alert students to issues and skills in identifying emotional problems. Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Fulfills requirement of advanced course upon completion of HDP 380. Advanced.
Seminar in Emotional Problems of Children
Further examines major approaches to understanding and programming for young children with emotional problems whose needs range from mild to severe focusing on medical and sociological models. Students may study one model in-depth. Skills for working with disturbed children are fostered through observation of field sites, case studies and simulations. Prerequisite: HDP 379. Advanced.
Nature of Linguistic Knowledge
Surveys linguistic theory and first- and second-language acquisition research. Analyzes a speaker’s unconscious knowledge of language by examining the structure of English and other languages. Follows the development of this knowledge in infants, children, and adults. Considers the sociopolitical context of becoming and being bilingual. Prerequisite: HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. General Education: Upper Level Writing (after ENG 121), Languages and Literatures. Advanced.
Introduces students to the concept of trauma and psychological consequences associated with exposure to potentially traumatizing events; explores risk and protective factors, specific types, intergenerational transmission, treatment of trauma, and post-traumatic growth. Special attention will be paid to sociological factors associated with post-traumatic adjustment and resilience. Prerequisites: HDP 120-121; 1 prior HDP course. Recommended for juniors and seniors only. Advanced.
Human Development/ Sociology
Women, Culture and Society
Explores the lives of women in contemporary American society. Looks at women’s lives in the context of families and culture. Emphasis on race and class differences. Topics include body image, poverty, violence against women, and sexuality. Emphasis on feminism as a movement for social justice. General Education: Self and Society or Ethics and Social Justice.
Sociology of Minority Groups
Explores the social, economic and political dimensions of inequality in American Society. Looks at how people of color, white women and gays and lesbians are systematically discriminated against in work, education, media and government programs. Analyzes whiteness as a social construct. Focus on social change and activism. General Education: Perspectives on Diversity and Self and Society or Ethics and Social Justice. Introductory.
Feminist Theories: Controversies and Current Issues
Examines different ways feminists analyze patriarchal society and women’s place within it. Emphasis on debates within feminist theory, ranging from radical to post-modern. Selected topics of controversy include abortion, racism, prostitution, and nature of masculinity. Takes a multicultural perspective on women’s experiences. Focus on ways feminists translate theory into practice. General Education: Upper-Level Writing (after ENG 121), Perspectives on Diversity and Self and Society or Ethics and Social Justice; Advanced.
On Being Different: Sociological Perspectives
Examines sociological theories, primarily social constructionist, for explanations of the origins, meanings, implications, and ways of being different. Theories are applied to date on topics including crime, disabilities, and mental illness. Addresses basic questions such as: What does it mean to be labeled different? Who makes and enforces such social rules? Prerequisites: One Sociology (HDS) course and HDP 120/122-121/123 or HDP 124/126-125/127. Advanced.