PSY 201: Developmental Psychology I

Spring 2016


Christopher R. Poirier

Office Hours: Tuesday 11:30-12:30, Wednesday 1:00-2:00, Thursday 1:00-2:00, and by appointment

My Teaching Philosophy and Goals

Introducing undergraduate students to the field of developmental psychology is a significant responsibility that I take very seriously. After much thought, and based on my experience, I have created a teaching philosophy that is based on three goals. My first goal is to foster intellectual growth by creating a learning environment that maximizes your achievement and development of your critical thinking skills. I set high but realistic goals for my students, and I emphasize mastery of course content. Second, I design and teach courses that appeal to multiple learning styles. I will present material via multiple media, provide a variety of in- and out-of-class activities, and use multiple assessment tools. Combining theory and practice is my third goal. Psychology is a unique field because the majority of the concepts are relevant to each of our lives. I will strive to make you aware of the relevance of the course content so that you will be more likely to retain and use the information throughout the rest of your life.

Course Description

This course is a study of child development from conception through preadolescence. The course emphasizes an understanding of developmental research methods and theories and examines the physical, perceptual, cognitive, social, emotional, personality, and moral aspects of development.

Required Text

Siegler, R., Deloache, J., Eisenberg, N., & Saffran, J. (2014). How children develop. New York: Worth. Note: This is the 4th edition of the text. ***You must have access to Launchpad.***

Course Requirements

1. Readings: Please read the assignments before attending lecture. See the course schedule for the list of reading assignments.

2. Video activities: Ten video activities will be assigned during the semester. These assignments will be posted on eLearn, and you will need access to Launchpad to complete them. You cannot make-up a missed video activity.

3. Homework assignments: You are required to complete five homework assignments. The assignments will allow you the opportunity to share your ideas and allow me to take attendance and to evaluate your understanding of some of the topics covered in class. In addition, the assignments may act as class discussion starters. If you miss class, you cannot make-up a missed assignment. To receive full credit, I need to receive a hard copy of the assignment during or prior to class.

4. Exams: There will be four exams given during the semester. Each exam will cover the information presented in lecture, including videos, demonstrations, in-class assignments, as well as the required readings.

Make-up Exams. If you have another obligation that requires missing an exam, you must arrange for an alternative date and time. YOU MUST LET ME KNOW AT LEAST ONE WEEK BEFORE THE SCHEDULED DATE. In every other case, MAKE-UP EXAMS WILL NOT BE GIVEN. If you are seriously ill or have a family emergency, you must contact me by telephone before the exam; I will decide whether the circumstance warrants a rescheduled exam.

5. Observational research assignment: As part of this course, you are required to complete an observational research project. For the project, you will observe children playing in a naturalistic setting, the Developmental Play Room in the Science Center. After collecting data, you will write a brief report to summarize your work. You will receive more information about this project in separate handouts.

6. Attendance/Participation: I will be monitoring the effort that you put into the course. This includes class attendance, participation in discussions, in-class activities, etc.

Summary of Graded Work

4 exams, each 100 points = 400 points (80% of final grade)

5 homework assignments, each 2 points = 10 points (2%)

10 video activities, each 1 point = 10 points (2%)

1 observational research project = 50 points (10%)

Attendance = 5 points (1%)

Participation = 25 points (5%)

Total = 500 points (100%)

Course Schedule

Statements about Resources and Policies

Academic Accommodations

Students with disabilities: Stonehill College is committed to providing all students equal access to learning opportunities. The Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) works with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations. Students registered with the Office of Accessibility Resources are encouraged to self-advocate and contact their professors as soon as possible, preferably prior to the start of the semester, to inform them of the accommodations for which they qualify.

Students are responsible for providing their professors with an accommodations verification letter from the Office of Accessibility Resources and discussing their needs with them. Students who have, or think they may have, a disability are invited to contact the Office of Accessibility Resources for a confidential appointment at (508) 565-1306 or

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Stonehill College embraces the diversity of students, faculty, and staff, honors the inherent dignity of each individual, and welcomes their unique cultural and religious experiences, beliefs, and perspectives. We all benefit from a diverse living and learning environment, and the sharing of differences in ideas, experiences, and beliefs help us shape our own perspectives. Course content and campus discussions will heighten your awareness to these differences.The Office of Intercultural Affairs (Duffy 149) serves as an accessible resource to anyone seeking support or with questions about diversity and inclusion at Stonehill. If you are a witness to or experience acts of bias at Stonehill or would like to learn more about how we address bias incidents, please email

Academic Honor Code and Integrity Policy

My expectation is that you will adhere to the Stonehill Academic Honor Code and Academic Integrity Policy found in the 2015-2016 Hillbook under Academic Policies and Procedures. A violation of the Academic Integrity Policy may result in failing an assignment, an exam, or the course. When in doubt, always verify with me if something is being done properly or is allowable in this class rather than simply make an assumption based on the fact that it was or is currently allowable in another class.

Resources for Academic Support

The Center for Writing and Academic Achievement (CWAA) provides academic support services in a welcoming, professional environment that emphasizes collaborative learning and peer tutoring, supplemented with professional-level support. The CWAA offers a variety of academic support services, including peer tutoring in writing, math, and foreign languages. The CWAA is located in MacPháidín Library, Room 314. Drop-in hours are offered Sunday – Thursday. Students can visit the CWAA website to view schedules, make appointments, or request a tutor.

Cell Phone Policy

Each cell phone is to be turned to silent mode during class time and remain out of sight throughout the entire duration of the class. During exam periods each cell phone must be in silent mode. Absolutely no use of the cell phone (i.e., checking its screen) is permitted from the time an exam is handed out until it has been turned in to be graded.

Classroom Etiquette

If you will arrive late to class or if you need to leave early, please let me know in advance. Late arrivals and early departures are disruptive.

Wait until class is over before packing up your course materials.