Psychology 2040B-650 (online)

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 this course has an antirequisite that you have previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in this one.

0.5 course


Instructor:  Sarah Smits-Bandstra, Ph.D., Reg. CASLPO

Office and Phone Number: 647-407-4154 (no office)

Office Hours: Online (skype, email or OWL discussion board) or by phone Fridays 9 am – 2:30 pm (or by appointment).


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.

Technological Support Services:

  • By Phone: 519 661-3800 or Ext. 83800
  • In Person: Support Services Building - our drop in counter is on the main floor right inside the front doors
  • By JIRA: Create a JIRA ticket (you will need to login you’re your regular UWO username and password) at
  • By Webform (if your password does not work to create a JIRA ticket)
  • Ask ITS - get immediate answers to some of our more common inquiries


Berk, L. E. (2013). Child Development. 9th edition. Pearson.

ISBN-10: 0205149766 or ISBN-13: 978-0205149766

This textbook is essential for success.  You will need it to follow along with the online lectures, exams and complete the class discussions.  This text was chosen because it is a comprehensive overview of childhood development.




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


  1. Describe three historical theories of developmental psychology.
  2. Explain the scientific method as it applies to developmental psychology.
  3. Describe milestones of childhood development that occur in infancy, childhood and adolescence.
  4. Compare and contrast development in biological, cognitive and socioemotional areas.
  5. Evaluate how child development is influenced by a number of contextual factors, including families, peers, communities and cultures.



Your grade will be determined via 3 non-cumulative, equally weighted, multiple choice exams (25% x 3 = 75%). In addition, you will be required to regularly participate in class discussion posts and responses (4% x 6 = 24%).  Finally, you will complete a syllabus review quiz worth 1% of your final grade (total 100%).

Exam 1 will cover chapters 1,2 & 3 and supplementary material from unit 1.

Exam 2 will cover chapters 4, 6, & 7 and supplementary material from unit 2.

Exam 3 will cover chapters 8, 9, 10, 11 & 14 and supplementary material from unit 3.

Syllabus Scavenger Hunt: (1% of your final grade). You are required to review the syllabus so you know what to do if you need support, an extension, if you are sick or absent, and where to concentrate your energy and time to get the best learning outcome.

Exams: Three exams (25% each or a total of 75% of your final grade).  They will consist of multiple choice.  Each exam will test the material covered in the preceding unit in the textbook and lectures. Exams are non-cumulative however concepts in later lectures build on those that we learned in the early classes.  Not everything in the lecture will be in the readings, and not everything in the readings will be discussed in the lectures. But assume that all of it will be on the exam.

Class Discussion:  Six class discussions (4% each or a total of 24% of your final grade).  You will be required to post your personal reflections on course material and reply to other students.  Late discussions will not be accepted.  Please allow at least 15 minutes to download discussions on OWL, before the midnight deadline.

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 Western's 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


Exam #1 (Chapters 1-3): Saturday January 27, 2-4 p.m.  Health Sciences Building room 40

Exam #2 (Chapters 4, 6, & 7) Saturday, March 3rd, 2-4 p.m. Health Sciences Building room 40

Exam #3 (Chapters 8, 9, 10, 11 & 14) During final exam period (April 14-30).

Make-ups for missed exams are handled by the Academic Counsellor’s office, not by the professor. They are provided only in cases of illness on the day of the exam, or for compassionate reasons. No make-up exams without proper documentation).


Email or call 519.661.2011 to schedule an appointment with an Academic Counsellor. Include student number and reason for appointment.


All Supplementary lecture material will be delivered through OWL. On each Monday of each week of the term, class materials and class discussions will be posted on our class website. You are expected to read the assigned reading each week, to login to Owl each week for supplementary materials, and each week to respond to posted questions and or post your own questions. Discussions will start on the Monday for the topic (i.e. starting Monday, May 8th, you will be reading and discussing chapter 1). That topic will close on Sunday at midnight. You are expected to keep up, week by week, with the class material. You are expected to keep your posts professional.

Connecting with the Course Instructor:

  • When you email me, you can expect a response within 2 business days (Sat, Sun and holidays do not count). I will do my best to respond immediately on Fridays between 9 AM and 230 PM.
  • I plan to grade the exams within 6 business days. I plan to respond to discussion posts within 6 business days to leave you with time to incorporate instructor feedback into your next post. You will be expected to carefully review feedback and apply suggestions for improvement.  Feedback is given to support your success and develop your skills.
  • You can use the “Self-Review” questions to prepare for each exam. Be sure to complete your Self-Review early so you have time to ask questions or do research for your exams.  It is not realistic to expect an email response from me one hour before an exam. 
  • You can post any questions you have on the online forum “I Have a Question…”. If is it urgent, email me instead at
  • I will do my very best to meet the above deadlines for feedback unless I have exceptional circumstances (in which case, you will receive notification of when to expect a response).




Topic and Reading


Unit 1: 8-Jan

"Chapter 1: History, Theory and Applied Directions

Syllabus Scavenger Hunt (Due Jan 15 at midnight)

Unit 1: 15

Chapter 2: Research Strategies

Class Discussion One due January 15 at midnight)

Unit 1: 22

"Chapter 3: Biological Foundations: Prenatal Development, and Birth "

Review and Practice Questions for Exam One (do not hand in)

Unit 1: 27

Unit One Exam

Saturday January 27th 2-4pm

Unit 2: Jan 29

"Chapter 4: Infancy: Early Learning, Motor Skills, and Perceptual Capacities "

Class Discussion Two (Due Jan 29 at midnight)

Unit 2: 5-Feb

"Chapter 6 (up to page 249): Piagetian, Core Knowledge, and Vygotskyian Perspectives"

Class Discussion Three (Due Feb 12 at midnight)

Unit 2: 12

"Chapter 6 (249 to end): Piagetian, Core Knowledge, and Vygotskyian Perspectives"

Class Discussion Four (Due Feb 26 at midnight)

Unit 2: 19

Reading Week


Unit 2: 26

Chapter 7: Information Processing Perspective

Review and Practice Questions for Exam Two (do not hand in)

Class Discussion Five (Due March 12 at midnight)

Unit 2: March 3

Unit Two Exam

Saturday March 3rd , 2-4 pm

Unit 3: -March 5

Chapter 9 beginning to page 372: Language Development


Unit 3: March 12

Chapter 9 Page 372 to end: Language Development


Unit 3: 19

Chapter 10: Emotional Development

Class Discussion Six (Due March 26 at midnight).

Unit 3: 26

Chapter 11: Self and Social Understanding


Unit 3: April 2

Chapter 14: The Family

Extra Credit (Due April 9 at midnight)

Unit 3: April 9

Study Guide and Review

Review and Practice Questions for Exam Three (do not hand in)

April, 2018 (TBA April 14-30)

Unit Three (Final) Exam



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.