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Principles of Human Development
Course Description

Course Information

Instructor: Dr. Jan Armstrong, University of New Mexico
Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Grad or ND
Office: Simpson Hall 116
Accreditation Information for this course is available online.


The focus of this course is on the principles of life-span development, and the implications of these principles for educational practice, social policy formation, and self-understanding. The aim of the course is to provide you with a foundation of knowledge that will help you become a more skillful researcher, effective policy maker, insightful practitioner and compassionate human being. The course will provide you with experiences that will help you

Course Format

The format of the class will include a range of activities: seminar discussions, lectures, small group discussions and application assignments, examinations and videotapes. Please come to class prepared to discuss, analyze, question, explain, and/or critique the assigned reading materials and projects. As in all graduate seminars, students will also be expected to actively explore the scholarly and empirical literature within their own areas of professional specialization and interest.

Detailed information about course requirements and evaluation procedures will be provided on the course syllabus. If you decide to take the course, you will have a chance to assess your mastery of the subject matter by way of one or more written examinations. A term paper and brief, written assignments are also required.

Course texts and reading materials

Students enrolled in my section of EDPSY 503 will also be expected to have access to a recent textbook on lifespan human development this semester. The book can be obtained from the UNM library, borrowed from a friend, or purchased. Your reference textbook (you get to pick title!) should have been published within the past 5 years and should cover human development through the lifespan (birth to old age).

Other readings will be available on e-reserves and in a readings packet. Reading requirements vary from one semeseter to the next. Additional information provided on the first day of class.

Useful indexes,journals, and handbooks in Human Growth and Development (partial list)

Psychological Abstracts, Education Index, PsychLit & ERIC databases

Developmental Psychology, Child Development, American Psychologist, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Youth and Society, Adolescence, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Gerontology, Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Psychology of Aging, Developmental Review, Mind, Culture and Activity, Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, Journal of Genetic Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, History of Childhood Quarterly, Contemporary Psychology, Anthropology and Education Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology, American Review of Psychology, Lifespan Development and Aging

Note: Psychology Today (the magazine) can be a very useful source of "reader-friendly" information about contemporary psychological research areas. However, it is not considered a scholarly journal and generally should not be relied upon as a source of documentation in formal research papers. Use it, rather, as a source of interesting ideas and as a way to discover the names of psychologists working on research problems that are of interest to you. Then, head for the original sources whenever possible!

[The New York Times is another useful resource for identifying interesting new issues and topics related to human development. Subscription is free, and the NYT website allows visitors to conduct keyword and other types of online searches.]

Course links

Human Growth and Development Home Page.
Pedagogical Notes and Advice for Students.
The Mind's Eye Project Home Page
Educational Psychology Home Page Ed. Psych. Links

This page was last modified January 13, 2007 / jka.