In this course students will explore the biological, psychological, intellectual, physical, and socio-cultural aspects of growth and development of a child from birth, through late adolescence. The course will be divided into distinct stages: infancy and toddlerhood years, preschool years, elementary school years, middle school years, and adolescence. The backbone of this course will be the introduction and explanation of various theoretical frameworks in developmental psychology and child development. Some of the theories that will be addressed are as follows: The Maturational Theories, Psychological Theories, Psycho-Social Theories, Social Learning Theories, Behavioral Theories, Cognitive Developmental Theories, Language Acquisition Theories, Bronfenbrenner’s Theory of Human Ecology, and Humanistic Theories, as they pertain to different topics and concepts that are investigated in the life span human development course. Significant milestones that children achieve at different developmental stages will be emphasized. The influence of culture, religion, parenting practices, cultural norms, superstitions, cultural traditions, rites-of-passage, cultural expectations regarding breast-feeding, potty training, illnesses, communication, loyalty to kinship group, school, work, family, caring for siblings, filial piety for the elderly will be highlighted from a cross-cultural perspective.
Field WorkCountry: Turkey
This Field Lab consists of three different components. The first component of this program is to hear a lecture entitled, "Recreation of the Hymen: Fact or Fiction?" Historically, chastity and virginity have always been more important for women than it has been for men in all cultures throughout the world. Virginity is especially important for an Islamic woman because it reflects on her honor and reputation. In many conservative Islamic families, a man is encouraged to divorce his wife if he finds out that she has been sexually involved with another male prior to marriage and is a non-virgin. Students will have the opportunity to hear a lecture delivered by Dr. Inci User - a Professor of Psychology at Marmara University in Istanbul who will share information on how some doctors in some Islamic countries including Turkey are pressured to create artificial hymens for women who may have had premarital sex in an earlier relationship. The lecture will also address some prerequisites and expectations that men and women have about potential partners before they get married. The second component of this Field Lab is to hear another presentation on women's rights and explore some women's rights issues in contemporary Turkey. Historically, women have been fighting for equal rights throughout the world. In many of the middle-eastern countries, women have limited legal rights in all spheres of life, especially in the area of marriage and family life. Turkey is one of the most liberal and tolerant Islamic countries. Participants will learn about the status of women and how past and present laws have influenced and affected their lives in Turkey. The Bar Association's Women's Right's Center provides advocacy and legal services for women in need of assistance. Finally, after the two presentations, the participants will go to the Kapali Karsi Grand Bazaar, where they will be able to see the "real culture" of the past and present Ottoman Empire. They will see shops laden with carpets, foods, spices, handicrafts, woodwork, bead trinkets, leather; cotton embroidery items, jewelry, and much, much more. This will be a good introduction and meaningful way to immerse the students in the local Turkish culture. Students can see first-hand what the local goods are like, see the ways in which locals shop, and experience what bargaining is. They can see the vendors and the buyers communicate and haggle over goods and if they desire buy few souvenirs to take back.