This course will be an introductory look at the psychological development of human beings across the life span. Focus of this course is on the major domains of development, including the (1) Physical, (2) Cognitive, and (3) Psychological/Emotional domains. The emphasis will be upon the latter two domains, with less attention given to the physical aspects of development, maturity, and aging. The course will also give more weight to the "outcomes" of development, being less concerned with the detailed steps of the developmental process. Course material will essentially follow the outline of your textbook, but additional material may be presented from time to time. Thus, keeping up with the readings (about one chapter per week, sometimes more) AND class attendance will be important for success. Study material is available on Blackboard.
Grades will be based primarily upon four tests, given at about four week intervals, with the last test being considered the "final exam." Material to be covered will be clearly stated, and the type of test will also be made known in advance, though most likely multiple choice, short answer, objective questions will make up the bulk of test items. Some essay questions may be given, depending upon the nature of the class. If such questions are used, that will be announced in advance of the test. Each exam is worth 150 points.
A fifth grade, 200 points, will be awarded based upon completion of a paper. The paper will be 5-7 typewritten, double-spaced pages addressing a major topic or issue in developmental psychology, as it applies to you, or someone you know. The paper will be due November 6th. Because the Department of Psychology at MSU emphasizes the importance of written work, these papers will be read critically. Please allow yourself enough time to review and perhaps re-draft the paper before turning it in. In addition to content, the "clarity" of your communication with the instructor will be a major factor in assigning a grade. That is, you must write well to do well. To minimize unpleasant surprises, a proposal, identifying the topic or issue to be addressed, and the student's approach, MUST be signed off in advance by the instructor prior to the first test. (The interested student will, of course, complete their proposals early.) A "Proposal Guide" to aid students in preparing for their papers may be found on page 3 of this syllabus. Title page, abstract and bibliography do not count in the page total. (12 point Times New Roman font – 1" margins). This paper will be submitted through Blackboard.
A sixth grade of 200 points will be awarded based upon completion of four journal article reviews. I will provide the the journal articles via WebCT/BlackBoard. Reviews will be at least three pages in length not counting name and bibliographic information. Articles will be turned in view WebCT/BlackBoard. Due dates are list on the course website. 1" margins, double-spaced, 12 pt Arial or TimesNewRoman font.
Issue Studies In the "Clashing Views" text – you can pick one from each unit except unit 1. You will need to completely answer the challenge questions associated with the pair of arguments. Each Issue is worth 40 points and will be submitted through WebCT.
900 - 1000 A
800 - 899 B
700 - 799 C
600 - 699 D
< 600 F
All papers will be turned in electronically using WebCT
Late work is not accepted
Class Attendance Requirements:
Class attendance is expected! Schedule problems can usually be worked out, but must be discussed IN ADVANCE. Bona fide emergencies do sometimes occur, but must be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible after the emergency absence.
IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN FOUR (4) UNEXCUSED ABSENCES, YOU WILL BE DROPPED FROM THIS CLASS WITH A GRADE OF "F".
An absence may be excused ONLY if the student complies with, or provides one of the following:
a. Negotiates approval for the absence with the instructor IN ADVANCE, or in the case of a legitimate emergency, as soon as is reasonable. Please run your excuses through the Dean of Students.
b. Presents a written excuse from a physician or the MSU Infirmary.
c. Presents written evidence of participation in a mandatory University function (Band, Choir, Sports, etc.)
d. Presents written evidence of attendance at a recognized professional meeting or professional educational program.
e. Presents a written excuse from a physician for a dependent child's illness.
Graduating Seniors: Graduating seniors who meet the following three criteria may be excused from taking the final exam:
(1) You have an earned "A" average based upon the previous three tests and the papers/project.
(2) Your unexcused absences have not exceeded four (4) during the semester.
(3) Your name appears on the official list of graduating seniors provided by the Registrar's Office.
Note: Unless you have approval from the instructor exempting you from the final, you will be expected to take it.
Taping, laptops and cellphones are not allowed.
Given the nature, scope, and intensity of this course, it is essential that each student keep up. It is the responsibility of each student to seek assistance when needed.
Academic Dishonesty: Please do not cheat or plagiarize. The MSU policy on cheating and plagiarism is on page 71 of the MSU Student Handbook and Activities Calendar (Code of Student Conduct, Item 11) and I encourage you to review it. Additional information regarding the Academic Dishonesty policy is available from the Dean of Students office, in Clark Student Center. Cheating or engaging in plagiarism will result in a grade of zero (0) and/or a letter grade of "F" for the course!!!!!!! If you find yourself even thinking about cheating on an exam or copying someone else's work, please talk to me instead of doing it!!!