Spring Mini-Term 2005

Classroom: Bldg. 2 Room: 2114

Class Time: 9:40 AM to 10:50 AM W, W & F

INSTRUCTOR: R. Beneckson


Course Reference No: 271886

This course is a study of the major developmental theories that modern psychology has to offer.  Developmental psychology is concerned with the way human beings change and grow over time and seeks to understand the forces underlying that growth and change. We will seek to understand and apply the theories, and also to understand criticisms of the theories. As we study each theory we will attempt to apply what we are learning to understanding our own development so that the material becomes “real” and not merely academic research distant from our own experience.

Textbook: Feldman, Robert S., Development Across the Life Span, third edition. Prentice-Hall, 2003.

Basic Requirements:

This course will be taught through study of the textbooks, lecture, video programs, discussion, student presentations, and dialogue. Class participation will be highly emphasized and rewarded, and attendance is required and roll will be taken. There will be 3 exams, with multiple choice and/or true/false questions and essay questions.

Each student will be required to work on a set of developmental analysis journals that will take the entire semester. This project will be explained in more detail at the first class.  In addition each student will be required to develop a 10 minute class presentation based on a topic of interest chosen from a specific chapter. 

Grading: Your final grade in the course is based on the total of the 3 exams, the developmental analysis project, plus any extra credit points, and class participation. Exams are worth 100 points each. The developmental analysis project is worth a maximum of 50 points.  The class presentation is worth a maximum of 10 points.  Extra credit points depend on the specific project, but generally are between 2 and 10 points.  Your final grade is based on your total number of points according to the chart below.

            A = 310+                                 B-= 275-279                D+= 240-244

            A-= 305-309                           C+= 270-274               D = 220-239

            B+= 300-304                           C = 250-269                D-= 215-219

            B = 280-299                            C-= 245-249                F = 0-214

Course Policies: Please be aware of the following course policies as they can have an effect on your grade in the course.

            Exam policy: Do not arrive late or fail to show up for an exam. If you arrive 15 minutes after the exam has started you will not be allowed to take it. In the event of medical emergency, you must provide an official notice from your physician, if accepted, alternative arrangements will be made. See the instructor for permission to make up an exam.

            Academic dishonesty: Instances of cheating will be not be tolerated and will be dealt with in accordance with policies established by Florida International University. Please refer to the Student Handbook.

            Classroom conduct: Arriving late, leaving early, or otherwise being disruptive during lectures will not be tolerated. If you know in advance that you will arrive late/leave early, notify the instructor prior to class. Please turn off cell phones and beepers during class.

            Related concerns: If at anytime during the semester you are concerned about your progress, please feel free to speak to me about it.

Extra Credit: There will be the opportunity to earn extra credit by doing short research papers with the permission of the instructor.  See the instructor for more information.

Course Outline: Below are the scheduled lecture topics and corresponding textbook chapters. Please make every effort to read the chapter prior to lecture. Lectures will also present material not found in the textbook. This schedule is subject to change based on the progress of the class. Therefore, it is essential that you come to class regularly to keep abreast of any changes.


                        Topic:                          Textbook: Feldman    

Section 1:

Chapter 1, Introduction to Development and Personality Test:

Five Factor Personality Test

Chapter 2, Prenatal Development

Chapter 3, Birth and the Newborn

Chapter 4, Infancy: Physical Development

Chapter 5, Infancy: Cognitive Development

Chapter 6, Infancy: Social and Personality Development


Test 1

Section 2:

Chapter 7, Preschool Years: Physical and Cognitive Development

Chapter 8, Preschool Years: Social and Personality Development

Chapter 9, Middle Childhood: Physical and Cognitive Development

Chapter 10, Middle Childhood: Social and Personality Development

Chapter 11, Adolescence: Physical and Cognitive Development

Chapter 12, Adolescence: Social and Personality Development


Test 2

Section 3:

Chapter 13, Early Adulthood: Physical and Cognitive Development

Chapter 14, Early Adulthood: Social and Personality Development

Chapter 15, Middle Adulthood: Physical and Cognitive Development

Chapter 16, Middle Adulthood: Social and Personality Development

Chapter 17, Late Adulthood: Physical and Cognitive Development

Chapter 18, Late Adulthood: Social and Personality Development

Chapter 19, Death and Dying


Test 3

Please, when you write your journals, leave two spaces between sentences.  Also, when using “quotation marks,” make sure that any periods or commas are included within the “marks,” understand? This is proper English usage in writing.