HDEV 307I: Human Development Childhood

California State University, Long Beach

Spring 2008, Section 5, RM AS-235, Tues. 7:00 - 9:45


Professor: Heather Rae-Espinoza

Tel: (562) 985-4209

Email: hre@csulb.edu

Office: Psy 125

Office Hrs: Tues. 2-6

Course focus We examine changing ideas about children and child development. We use materials from the disciplines of sociology, history, anthropology, developmental psychology, and cultural studies, to look at research on children, the treatment of children, and policies regarding children. Because we examine children in their social and historical context, we learn not only about children but also about families, schools, media, and both local and global culture. 




Required texts:

·         Diessner, R., & Tiegs, J.  (2001)  Notable Selections in Human Development.  (2nd Edition).  Guilford, CN:  McGraw-Hill.

·         Reading Packets: There are 4 reading packets [“What is a Child?,” “What Makes a Family?,” “Studying Children,” & “Parenting”] to be downloaded from Beachboard or purchased at Copy Pro, 1785-H Palo Verde Ave, (562) 431-9974. Please ask for # ____.

·         Access to beachboard.  Grades, lecture outlines, announcements, examples papers, and assignments will be posted on beachboard.


Course Requirements & Grades:

Participation (15 points):  You are expected to attend class, complete the assigned readings prior to each class, and contribute to all class discussions.  Your participation grade requires you to be prepared for class (having completed assigned readings before class) and requires you to participate in classroom activities, including discussion.  I will take attendance.  I realize you are adults, but attendance allows me to learn your names and to reward people who participate.  While some people are uncomfortable talking in a group, part of your education is learning to express yourself verbally.  Therefore, I ask that everyone make an effort to participate in discussions. I expect you to voluntarily participate in class discussions, but I will also call on people to speak.  Please also keep in mind that class participation is not only about speaking in class, but also involves listening attentively and encouraging other speakers.  If you do not attend class, you receive a 0.  Up to two documented, excused absences may receive a 6.  Attendance receives a 12.  Participation will increase these points and disruptive behavior (including coming to class late, sleeping in class, chatting with your neighbors, texting on your cell) will decrease them. 


Calibrated Peer Review (50 points):

·         Here I address the questions “What is a reading journal?,” “How do I hand in the reading journal?,” and “How do I earn points with a reading journal?”  Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have.

o        What is a reading journal?  A reading journal is a collection of one-page, typed entries on the class readings to demonstrate that you have thought further about the reading before we discuss that reading in class.  (You can handwrite the entries, but then the length would depend on the size of your handwriting.)  There are four types of entries to choose from for each reading:

1.        Summary:  A journal entry can summarize the main theoretical framework of the reading.  This means addressing the author’s overall point, rather than copying over an example.  The online reading outlines may help you with summaries. 

2.        Contribution: A journal entry can discuss a contribution of the reading.  This means addressing what can be done to help someone with the information in the reading.  Informing people is not a contribution if that information cannot help someone.  For instance, can the information in this reading help to improve children’s wellbeing somehow?  Help parents to parent better?  Help society to function better?  Such applied concerns help us to use the class information in future careers.

3.        Critique: A journal entry can critique a reading.  Do you see a problem with the author’s methods to get information?  Does the reading lack a practical way to apply the information?  Would you like to know more about what might happen in the future?  Is there a part that needs further explanation as to why something happens?   Do NOT write a literary critique.  Your critique should not address length or writing style. 

4.        Case: A journal entry can present a case.  This means using a person that you know (or know about) as an example person for the reading.  If the person who is the example confirms what the reading says, then write how the reading helped you to understand this person.  If the person who is the example contradicts what the reading says, then write how the person demonstrates that the author’s claims are missing something.

o        How do I hand in the reading journal? Since journal entries are to encourage class discussion, the entries are due on the day that we discuss the reading you are responding to.  Do not work on entries during class.  Journal entries must be handed in at the start of class.  I suggest you have a separate notebook to hand in the entries or a three-ring binder to keep loose-leaf pages together.  Please indicate your name, the author of the reading (& title if there is more than one reading for that author), and kind of response you are writing (summary, contribution, critique, or case).  If you are absent and want to hand in an entry, you must hand in the entry before class starts to the instructor’s mailbox in Psy-205.  I will not accept any email submissions or late journal entries.  (If you are a person who is perpetually late or absent, you may want to consider taking the midterm.) 

o        How do I earn points with a reading journal?  There are 41 readings in the semester and to earn your 30 points with the reading journal you have to pick at least 30 readings you want to write an entry about because each journal entry is worth up to 1 point. This means that you have to have 30 entries for a chance at a perfect score.  You may receive a Ö+ (1 point), Ö (.85 points), or Ö- (.70 points) per entry.  You may do more than or fewer than 30.  The entries determine how many points you earn total. 

Field Project (35 points): The purpose of this project is for you to further consider some of the ideas we have studied by checking them against your own observations.  The field project requires you to conduct research and to have independent data.  Data should be seen as empirical (not necessarily numerical) information collected and analyzed independently.  The data should shed light on the course readings and discussions.  This is not a library research project.  It requires creativity and the investigation of your own ideas.  Have fun, be original, but be sure that you also incorporate a minimum of four readings.  The topic is open for student selection, but since we have limited time, the project needs to be feasible.  The student may choose to analyze a child’s discussion of gender differences in play, compare parents’ concerns over children’s needs across class, attempt to refute a reading’s prediction for a particular ethnicity, or any other project that can complete the requirements.  Depending on your topic, you should read relevant articles ahead in order to design your study.  For instance, if you design a project on language, you may want to read those articles in advance of the day we discuss them in class.  Please see the instructor for help with ideas, logistical considerations, or further explanation of assignment expectations.  Extensive comments will be given for each step in the creation of this project and I encourage you to meet with me if you have any questions or concerns.  Only the paper itself and poster are graded, but the previous steps aid considerably in completing the project.

1.        Proposal: (0 points)  In one typed, double-spaced, page, the proposal should describe the topic you will address, your unique contribution to the study of the topic, and who you will research.  The purpose of the proposal is to have you begin to focus your project and receive feedback.  It is not graded but the comments and direction prove helpful.  The proposal is due on 3/11. 

2.        Meeting: (0 points)  In individual 20 minute meetings we will discuss your research plan, any difficulties, and methodological concerns.  You are always welcome to come to my office hours or schedule an appointment.  The meetings are not required but the comments and direction prove helpful.  Extended office hours to accommodate appointments will begin the week of 3/25. 

3.        Outline: (0 points)  In a bulleted format (meaning do not hand in a draft of our paper), the outline will present your paper’s organization.  It should include each section of the paper and how you will incorporate your research and class readings into each of those sections.  While you may not have your data, based on your research methods, you should be able to create a framework for presenting the data.  It is not graded but the comments and direction prove helpful.  The outline is due on 4/22.

4.        Paper: (30 points)  The student should address the topics below as described.  If completed, you should attach the proposal and outline to your paper.  The 6 to 8 page papers (not including bibliography and any appendices) should be typed, double spaced with one-inch margins.  Please number pages.  A cover page should indicate name, section #, date, and project title.  Please subtitle the sections of your paper.  Cite appropriately.  Bibliographic information for course readings can be found on this syllabus.  The paper is due on 5/13.  I will not accept any email submissions and late papers will receive a ten point deduction.  No papers will be accepted after the final exam deadline.  Writing style and proof-reading will be considered as a portion of the grade for all written assignments. 

a)        Concept of the Child (5 points):  Your paper should include a clear and well-supported concept of the child regarding the topic that you chose.  Do not attempt to summarize all course readings.  Instead, as with the models we learn in class, you are not expected to explain all aspects of child development.  Your concept should incorporate some of the complexities that we have discussed in class (expert models), and can include examples from your own experience and/or from popular culture (folk models).  Your concept of the child should lead to your research hypothesis.  You should describe expected results from your study based on the logic of your concept of the child.  This section would likely be 1 ½ to 2 pages.  This is the introduction to your research.  

b)       Research Construction (2 points): You should describe how your research can contribute theoretically to a greater understanding of child development.  What applied benefits might your research have for improving the wellbeing of children, helping parents to parent better, and/or for society overall?  This section would likely be ½ to 1 page.  This is the motivation for the research.

c)        Methods (4 points): Your research methods should be capable of evaluating your hypothesis.  Your methods should be closely tied to the area of child development you chose and should be logistically feasible.  Explain your data collection methods.  (Be careful not to include data in your methods section).  Include surveys and interview questions in an appendix (inserted before bibliography and referred to in text—“See Appendix A.”), and in your methods section describe the topics of discussion rather than specific questions.  Address considerations regarding the validity of data and possible confounds to your methods.  This means discuss the strength and drawbacks.  This section would likely be 1 to 1 ½  pages.  This is the plan for the research.

d)       Data Presentation (5 points): Systematically present analyzed, relevant data.  This should not be a transcript of your interviews.  Choose representative samples from your data to support the patterns/themes/trends you found in your data and discuss your interpretation of their meaning or significance.  You should use concepts and categories from the readings or your own ideas to organize your data into analytic units.  Each unit should include a topic sentence, a well-introduced excerpt of data, and commentary on the group of data.  This writing format will not only help you learn to present fieldwork, but also to better integrate the claims of literature into your own arguments and organizing your written work.  For instance, you could have an analytic unit for “discipline,” “education,” and “physical needs” to present parenting ideas of needs or have one analytic unit for consumerism trends amongst each of a certain class or each of a certain ethnicity.  The units will help to elucidate the comparisons/categories you found in your research.  Use readings to aid in your interpretation, if appropriate, but do not use results from readings as your data.  This section would likely be 1 ½ to 2 pages.  These are the results of your research.

e)        Conclusion (3 points):  Tie together the previous sections of your paper briefly.  Although you may feel inclined to present the logic in the analysis of your data here, it should be done in the previous section.   Evaluate your own project’s theoretical contributions, if any, and make suggestions for future research which can expand or better evaluate your own findings.  Try not to focus on methodological limitations, as these should be addressed in the methods section, but possible variables that should be looked at and why.  For instance, researching with a different class may reveal different categories of parental needs because of the ability to pay for different luxury items.  This section would likely be ½ to 1 page.  This is a final review of your research.

f)        Writing (3 points): Writing style, formatting, and proof-reading will be considered. 

g)       Citations (8 points): You are to use four course readings.  The use of each is worth 2 points.

5.        Poster (5 points): For the poster presentation on 5/13, you should create a poster that includes your project title, name, section, along with a brief version of each part of your paper described above.  Posters will be graded on both clarity of information and appearance.


Grading Summary:

Participation                              15

Calibrated Peer Reviews             50

Field Project & Poster                35


Withdrawal Policy: I will not sign drop slips after the third week of class without documentation of extenuating circumstances.


Course Grades: Your student handbook defines the letter grades in the following fashion (see page 80):

“The following definitions apply to grades assigned in all undergraduate and graduate courses.

‘A’ – Performance of the student has been at the highest level, showing sustained excellence in meeting all course requirements and exhibiting an unusual degree of intellectual initiative.

‘B’ – Performance has been at a high level, showing consistent and effective achievement in meeting course requirements.

‘C’ – Performance has been at an adequate level, meeting the basic requirements of the course.

‘D’ – Performance has been less than adequate, meeting only the minimum course requirements.

‘F’ – Performance has been such that minimal course requirements have not been met.”


Scholastic Dishonesty: Scholastic dishonesty includes both plagiarism and cheating. Scholastic dishonesty will be treated seriously. It will result in a zero on the assignment and may result in a failing grade for the course. Therefore, it is imperative that you understand how to properly attribute words and ideas. If you are at all uncertain about the proper way to cite or attribute another person’s words or ideas, please discuss your questions with me. I strongly urge you to be absolutely certain that you understand how to properly cite your sources. You can also check Professor Martine Van Elk’s helpful description of how to document sources at: http://www.csulb.edu/~mvanelk/document.html. More information about the University’s policies regarding plagiarism and cheating can be found in the Student Handbook, in the class schedule, or by contacting the Office of Judicial Affairs at 985-5270.  [how bout if caught plagiarizing have to do CPR on plagiarism first time and second time fail class.]


Writer’s Resource Lab and Learning Assistance Center: As a student at CSULB, you have available to you these two very valuable resources. I urge you to take advantage of them. The Writer’s Resource Lab, located at LAB-212, will give you free 45 minute writing tutorials that can help immensely with all aspects of writing. All students can benefit from extra input and advice in their writing. Make an appointment ahead of time by calling 985-4329, and be forewarned that they get very busy towards the end of the semester. You can also receive tutoring through the Learning Assistance Center, located in Library East. They provide help with general study skills and, for a small fee, tutoring for specific courses.  To make an appointment, call 985-5350.




Tuesday 1/29

Course overview


I. What is a child? Childhood in HIstorical Context

Tuesday 2/5

Creation of Childhood

                                Postman, Neil. (1994)  “When There Were No Children” & “The Printing Press and the New Adult” in The Disappearance of Childhood. New York: Vintage Books. pp. 1-36.

Children’s Culture

                                Zelizer, Viviana A. (1998) “From Useful to Useless: Moral Conflict over Child Labor” in The Children’s Culture Reader. Henry Jenkins, ed. New York University Press. pp. 81-94.

                                Giroux, Henry A.  (1998) “Stealing Innocence: The Politics of Child Beauty Pageants” in The Children’s Culture Reader. Henry Jenkins, ed. New York University Press. pp. 265-283.


Tuesday 2/12

Cultural Variations in Childcare

                                Benedict, Ruth. (1938). “Continuities and Discontinuities in Cultural Conditioning.”  in Personality in Nature, Society and Culture. Clyde Kluckhohn and Henry A. Murray, eds. New York: Alfred Knopf. pp. 414-423.

Consumerism & Children

                                Flanagan, Caitlin. (2004). “Bringing Up Baby: Parents spend billions to keep their children safe and happy” in The New Yorker. November 15, 2004. pp. 46-51.

                                Schorr, Juliet B.  (2004).  “How Consumer Culture Undermines Children’s Well-Being” in Born to Buy. New York: Scribner.  pp. 141-175.


II. What makes a family?: the family in cultural context

Tuesday 2/19

Functions of the Family

                                Spiro, Melford E.  (1954) “Is the Family Universal?”  in American Anthropologist. pp. 154-160.

                                Scheper-Hughes, Nancy.  (2001). “Lifeboat Ethics: Mother Love and Child Death in Northeast Brazil.” in Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Caroline Brettell and Carolyn Sargent, eds. Prentice Hall. pp. 36-42.

Distributive Care

                                Hewlett, Barry.  (2001). “The Cultural Nexus of Aka Father-Infant Bonding.” in Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Caroline Brettell and Carolyn Sargent, eds. Prentice Hall. pp 42-53.

                                Weisner, Thomas S. and Ronald Gallimore.  (1977).  “My Brother’s Keeper: Child and Sibling Caretaking.”  in Current Anthropology, vol. 18: 2.  pp. 169-180.


Tuesday 2/26

Paid Care

                                Scarr, Sandra. (1998) “American Child Care Today.” in American Psychologist. February 1998. pp. 95-108.

                                Hochschild, Arlie. (2003)  “Love and Gold.” in The Commercialization of Intimate Life. University of California Press. pp. 185-197.

No Care?

                                Toth, Jennifer. (1997) “Introduction” in Orphans of the Living: Stories of America’s Children in Foster Care.  Simon & Schuster, Inc: New York. pp. 17-25


III. Studying children: Are children different? What makes them that way?

Tuesday 3/4

Psycho-Sexual Development

                                Freud, Sigmund. (1838). “The Development of the Sexual Function.” in Notable Selections. pp. 3-7.

                                Freud, Sigmund. (1920).  “The Sexual Life of Human Beings.” in Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis.  New York: Liveright.  pp. 375-396.

Psycho-Social Development

                                Erikson, Erik.  (1950).  “Eight Ages of Man” in Childhood and Society.  W. W. Norton Co.: New York.  247-273.


Tuesday 3/11

Cognitive Development

                                Piaget, Jean. (1960). “The Genetic Approach to the Psychology of Thought.” in Notable Selections. pp. 8-15.

                                Piaget, Jean.  (1939).  “Conservation of Continuous Quantities.”  in Notable Selections. pp. 190-195.

                                Piaget, Jean, Bärbel Inhelder, and Edith Mayer.  (1956).  “The Co-ordination of Perspectives.”  in Notable Selections. pp. 137-142.

Moral Development

                                Kohlberg, Lawrence. (1968)  “The Child as a Moral Philosopher.” in Notable Selections. pp. 26-37.

                                Crain, W. C. (1985). “Theories of Development.”  in Prentice-Hall.  pp. 118-136.

                                Field Project Proposal Due


Tuesday 3/18

Development through Learning & Discipline

                                Maier, Henry W. (1965). “The Learning Theory of Robert R. Sears.”  in Three Theories of Child Development: Contributions of Erik H. Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Robert R. Sears, and Their Applications.  New York: Harper & Row Publishers.  pp. 144-176.

                                Baumrind, Diana. (1967). “Child Care Practices Anteceding Three Patterns of Preschool Behavior.” in Notable Selections. pp. 162-173.


                                Spiro, Melford E.  (1997).  “Introduction.”  in Gender Ideology and Psychological Reality: An Essay on Cultural Reproduction.  New Haven: Yale University Press.  pp. 1-10.

Tuesday 3/25

Attachment Theory

                                Bowlby, John. (1969). excerpts from Attachment, Volume 1: Attachment  and Loss. Basic Books. pp. 210-228.

                                Ainsworth, Mary D. Salter. (1979). “Infant-Mother Attachment.” in Notable Selections. pp. 127-136.

Development through Evolutionary Truces

                                Kegan, Robert.  (1982). The Constitutions of the Self.  in The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development.  Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 73-110.


Tuesday 4/1 — No Class for Spring Break!!!


Tuesday 4/8

Instilling Motivation

                                McClelland, David C.  (1961).  “The Achievement Motive: How It Is Measured and Its Possible Economic Effects.” in The Achieving Society.  New York: D. Van Nostrand Company Inc.  pp. 36-62.

                                Veale, Angela, Max Taylor, and Carol Linehan.  (2000).  “Psychological perspectives of ‘abandoned’ and ‘abandoning’ street children.”  in Abandoned Children.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  pp. 131-145.

                                Watson, John B. (1928). “Against the Threat of Mother Love.” in The Children’s Culture Reader. Henry Jenkins, ed. New York University Press. pp. 470-475.


Tuesday 4/15

Language Development

                                Bruner, Jerome. (1983). “From Communicating to Talking.”  in Readings on the Development of Children, 3rd Edition. Mary Gauvain and Michael Cole, eds. pp. 119-126.

                                Ochs, Elinor and Bambi B. Schieffelin.  (1984).  “Language Acquisition and Socialization: Three Developmental Stories and Their Implications.” in Culture Theory: Essays on Mind, Self, and Emotion. Richard A. Shweder and Robert A. LeVine, eds.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  pp. 276-320.


IV. Parenting: what do children need from home and family?

Tuesday 4/22

Formal Education: Different Goals, Different Practices

                                IN CLASS VIDEO: Tobin, Joseph J., David Y. H. Wu, and Dana H. Davidson.  1989.  Preschool in Three Cultures: Japan, China, and the United States. 

                                Heath, Shirley Brice.  (1982).  “What no Bedtime Story Means: Narrative Skills at Home and School.” in Language in Society 11: 49-76.

                                Field Project Outline Due


Tuesday 4/29

Informal Education: The Work of Play

                                Schwartzman, Helen B.  (1977).  “Children’s Play: A Sideways Glance at Make-Believe” in The Study of Pay: Problems and Prospects.  Leisure Press: West Point.  pp. 208-213.

                                Lancy, David.  (1977).  “The Play Behavior of Kpelle Children During Rapid Cultural Change” in The Study of Pay: Problems and Prospects.  Leisure Press: West Point.  pp. 84-91.

Parenting & Poverty

                                Duncan, Greg and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn. (2000) “Family Poverty, Welfare Reform, and Child Development.” Child Development. January/February 2000. pp. 188-196.


Tuesday 5/6

Gender Socialization: Cooties Re-Visited & Explained

                                Thorne, Barrie. (1993) “Gender Separation: Why and How.” in Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School. Rutgers. pp. 49-61.

                                Whiting, Beatrice and Carolyn Pope Edwards. (1973)  “A Cross Cultural Analysis of Sex Differences in the Behavior of Children Aged Three Through Eleven.” in Notable Selections.  pp. 210-224.

                                Berry, John W., Ype H. Poortinga, Marshall H. Segall, and Pierre R. Dasen.  (2002).  “Gender Behavior” in Cross-Cultural Psychology: Research and Applications, Second Edition.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  pp. 73-85.


Tuesday 5/13

                                Poster Presentation & Course Evaluations

                                Field Project & Poster Due