Overview of Course
Most of us do not fully comprehend the vast diversity of how humans develop from birth until death. In this course students will learn about human development and the major life milestones across the lifespan. We will use a cultural approach to explore the physical, cognitive, sexual, and socio-emotional aspects of development and how they vary in the places we will visit and in comparison, with the United States. Students will expand their understanding of the individual and family changes that occur for each period of the lifespan including infancy, toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood as framed in cultural, environmental, historical, and relational contexts. The goals of this course are to enhance students’ ability to think critically about development, to provide an awareness about cultural influences upon development and family systems, and to broaden students’ understanding of research and practice within the field of human development and family studies. Gaining this understanding of lifespan development will also help students navigate their own lives including with relationships, family experiences, professional encounters, and interactions with others. Students will have opportunities to observe and interact directly with children and youth from diverse cultures during field experiences.