Psychology 2040A-001

Child Development

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


A survey of theory and research in developmental psychology including learning, cognition, perception, personality, and social development in infancy and childhood.


Antirequisites: Psychology 2044, 2410A/B, 2480E, Health Sciences 2700A/B and the former 3700A/B


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


3 lecture hours, 0.5 course


Instructor:                      Samantha Goldsmith

Office and Phone:         WH 215, (705) 238-3629

Office Hours:                By Appointment



Teaching Assistant:


Office Hours:



Time and Location of Classes:   Tuesdays, 7:00pm-10:00pm, SEB 1059

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit: for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.



Bukatko, D., & Daehler, M. W. (2012). Child Development: A Thematic Approach (6th Edition). Wadsworth: Cengage Learning.


The goal of this course is to introduce the theoretical, methodological, and empirical foundations of Developmental Psychology. We will discuss historically and currently popular theories regarding early development of a wide range of domains, from perceptual and motor skills, to emotions and peer relationships. We will also discuss the methods through which researchers have studied human development, and the results and conclusions of such studies.


By the end of this course, the successful student should be able to:


  • Identify and define key concepts related to psychological development
  • Identify the unique timelines for the development of various psychological domains
  • Distinguish between unique theoretical frameworks
  • Apply knowledge of developmental theories and methods to experimental paradigms



Students will be evaluated via two (2) midterm examinations and one (1) final examination. Exams will include exclusively multiple choice questions. No exam will be cumulative.


Midterm 1 = 33%

Midterm 2 = 33%

Final Exam = 34%


Midterm #1 will be based on lectures 1-4 and associated assigned readings.

Midterm #2 will be based on lectures 5-7 and associated assigned readings.

The final exam will be based on lectures 8-10 and associated assigned readings.


Students who are unable to attend a midterm exam and who provide necessary documentation will be given an opportunity to write a MAKE-UP exam. There will be one date and time for the make-up exam, which will be determined following the midterm exam date. The format of the make-up exam will be different than the format of the midterm
Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario grading guidelines, which are as follows (see ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail


Midterm #1        Tuesday, October 17                7:00pm, SEB 1059

Midterm #2        Tuesday, November 14            7:00pm, SEB 1059


Final Exam        TBD (December 10-21); Scheduled by Registrar’s Office


September 12, 2017       Introduction: Early Theories, Major Themes, & Basic Methods

                                                Chapter 1 (p. 7-35) & Chapter 2 (p. 43-48)


September 19, 2017       Biological Foundations: Genetics & Brain Development

                                                Optional: Chapter 3 (p. 71-78; 96-101) & Chapter 5 (p. 154-160)


September 26, 2017       Prenatal Development

                                                Chapter 4 (p. 124-129; 134-136; 147-148)


October 3, 2017             Perceptual and Motor Development (+ Midterm Review)

                                                Optional: Chapter 5 (p. 165-173) & Chapter 6 (p. 209-232)


October 10, 2017           READING WEEK

                                                No Class


October 17, 2017           MIDTERM #1

                                                7:00pm, SEB 1059


October 24, 2017           Cognitive Development I: Theoretical Frameworks

                                                Chapter 8 (p. 280-296)


October 31, 2017           Cognitive Development II: Cognitive Skills, Academics & Intelligence

                                                Chapter 10 (p. 356-361)


November 7, 2017         Language Development

                                                Chapter 7 (p. 250-263


November 14, 2017        MIDTERM #2

                                                7:00pm, SEB 1059


November 21, 2017        Emotional Development

                                                Chapter 11 (p. 396-408; 414-424; 430-434), Chapter 14 (p. 514-519)


November 28, 2017        Self & Social Development

                                                Chapter 12 (p. 440-443;464-473), Chapter 15 (p. 551-565; 570-581)


December 5, 2017         Atypical Development



Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:

Student Development Services web site:

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:

- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.