Current Research in Early Childhood|
|Certificates: Civic Engagement|
|Course Cluster: Service-Learning|
Early childhood is widely seen as a time when the environment exerts particularly strong influences on individuals, with large effects on children's risk or resilience for healthy developmental outcomes. Research in this area provides a way to consider and evaluate claims about this developmental period. What knowledge does society need about this period to promote healthy development for all children? Where do children learn social skills? Why do children play with some toys but not others? How does timing affect the impact of early interventions? What foundational skills help all children learn to read? By what mechanisms does economic poverty affect development?
This advanced seminar will explore current research in early childhood. We will focus on the period from birth to five years, drawing on empirical work in developmental psychology, cognitive science, and education to discuss major topics and debates. These include cognitive and academic foundations for later schooling; emotional development and social skills; social identity and sense of self; self-regulation and executive functions; play; adverse factors in development; risk, resilience, and vulnerability; culture, socioeconomic status, and poverty; developmental neuroscience; early childhood education; and public policy. Guest visits by experts in some of the areas will complement our readings and discussions.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CEC)(EDST-MN)(PSYC)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Representative primary source readings:
Rivers, S. E., Tominey, S., Obryon, E., & Brackett, M. A. (2013). Developing emotional skills in early childhood settings using Preschool RULER. PSYCHOL. EDUC. REV, 37, 20-25.
Noble, K. G., Houston, S. M., Brito, N. H., Bartsch, H., Kan, E., Kuperman, J. M., ... & Sowell, E. R. (2015). Family income, parental education and brain structure in children and adolescents. NATURE NEUROSCIENCE, 18(5), 773-778.
Rhodes, M., Leslie, S. J., & Tworek, C. M. (2012). Cultural transmission of social essentialism. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, 109(34), 13526-13531.
Diesendruck, G., Goldfein-Elbaz, R., Rhodes, M., Gelman, S., & Neumark, N. (2013). Cross-Cultural Differences in Children's Beliefs About the Objectivity of Social Categories. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 84(6), 1906-1917.
Fisher, K. R., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Newcombe, N., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2013). Taking shape: Supporting preschoolers' acquisition of geometric knowledge through guided play. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 84(6), 1872-1878.
Kuhn, L. J., Willoughby, M. T., Wilbourn, M. P., Vernon-Feagans, L., & Blair, C. B. (2014). Early communicative gestures prospectively predict language development and executive function in early childhood. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 85(5), 1898-1914.
Cuevas, K., Deater-Deckard, K., Kim-Spoon, J., Watson, A. J., Morasch, K. C., & Bell, M. A. (2014). What's mom got to do with it? Contributions of maternal executive function and caregiving to the development of executive function across early childhood. DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE, 17(2), 224-238.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly reading responses, discussion leading, discussion participation, 1 short mid-semester paper and 1 longer seminar paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Preference to students who have taken PSYC 230 (Developmental Psychology) and other preparation for reading primary source research literature in experimental psychology, education, and related fields. Students from all majors are welcome.
To apply, please send a brief statement with your relevant background and motivation for taking this class to the instructor.
|Instructor(s): Shusterman,Anna Times: ..T.... 07:10PM-10:00PM; Location: TBA|
|Permission of Instructor Required|
Enrollment capacity: 15
|Permission of instructor approval will be granted by the instructor during pre-registration through the Electronic Portfolio. Click "Add to My Courses" and "To request a POI electronically, click here" to submit your request.|
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