PSYC 338 Fall 2012 Childhood in Context

The psychological lives of children are shaped not only by internal changes, but also by the ways in which adults in their community view and treat them, as well as by other situational forces (for instance poverty and social unrest). In this course students will consider how various external forces affect children's daily experience. Students will compare several psychological models of young children--some emanating from folk culture, and some from scientific paradigms. We will look at how parenting and educational practices reflect the implicit models of childhood held by members of a community, and then examine whether those practices have a substantive or lasting effect on children. We will also weigh the impact of certain non-parental features of the environment: poverty, wealth, social unrest, violence, societal well-being, and technological advances. Specific questions we will consider in the course include (but are not limited to): What are the short and long term effects of growing up in a society with a formal model of teaching and learning? In what ways is the psychological experience of poor children different than that of the middle class? Are children who grow up in rural areas different from those who grow up in cities? What is the long term impact of growing up in a culture that does or does not value play? We will draw on observational and experimental data, narrative non-fiction, and film, as well as the work of anthropologists and historians.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: three 5- to 7-page papers
Additional Info: not available to be taken Pass/Fail
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: Psychology 232 or 272
Enrollment Preference: Psychology majors
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: PHLH Maternal and Child Health,PSYC Area 3 - Developmental Psychology
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 1271
PSYC338-01(F) SEM Childhood in Context Division 2: Social Studies Susan L. Engel
TR 08:30 AM-09:45 AM Bronfman 317 1271
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