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PSYC6015 - Developmental Psychology ECEC

Title:Developmental Psychology ECEC
Long Title:Developmental Psychology ECEC
Module Code:PSYC6015
Duration:1 Semester
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Fundamental
Field of Study: Psychology
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2022/23 ( September 2022 )
Module Delivered in 1 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: Cian ONeill
Module Author: Judith Butler
Module Description: This module is designed to introduce students to the psychology of child development and to enable the student to apply principles of developmental psychology in a variety of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) settings.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Discuss the main theoretical and historical perspectives of developmental psychology and their application to the ECEC setting.
LO2 Examine the factors that impact on prenatal development.
LO3 Evaluate theories of physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional domains of child development with particular emphasis on infancy and early childhood.
LO4 Appraise the centrality of relationships in ECEC.
LO5 Interpret appropriate psychological knowledge and research as it applies to ECEC sector.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named MTU module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).

Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Introduction to Developmental Psychology
Psychology as a discipline. Understanding developmentalism, psychodynamic, behavioural, cognitive, humanistic, biological and sociocultural approaches to psychology. Holistic nature of children's development, factors affecting children's development. The Nature/Nurture debate. Social, cultural and environmental influences on development, variation in normative development. Application of developmental psychology in ECEC setting.
Prenatal Development and Birth
The periods of prenatal development; the germinal, the embryonic, the fetal period. The sensory capacities of the foetus, Fetal learning, maternal conditions and prenatal development. Nutritional influences on prenatal development. Teratogens: Environmental sources of birth defects, drugs, infections and other conditions. Principles of Teratogenic Agents. Learning starts before birth. Understand what happens before conception and during pregnancy impacts child development. In accordance with the 'FIrst 5' that a healthy childhood starts from pregnancy.
Physical and Motor Development
Biological basis of behaviour. Neurological and motor skills development. Cephalocaudal and proximodistal laws. Perception and perceptual development. Theory of Maturation (Gesell). Positive play-based early learning experiences (First 5). Play as a process.
Learning Theories in Childhood, Language & Cognitive Development
Learning theories of Pavlov and Classical Conditioning, Watson and Behaviourism, Skinner and Operant Conditioning, Types of reinforcements, Bandura and Social Learning theory, Piaget learning and cognitive constructivism, Vygotsky and Social Constructivism & Bruner and discovery learning/scaffolding. Playful learning. Sensory, perceptual & cognitive development. Language and communication development in the children from birth to 6 years. Chomsky's Language Acquisition Device, Imitation theory.
Attachment, Emotional and Social Development
The importance of early emotional bonds. The centrality of relationships in ECEC. Erikson's psychosocial theory. Bowlby's ethological explanation. Lorenz and imprinting. Harlow's Monkey experiments, Mary Ainsworth's attachment styles and stranger situation. Factors that influence attachment. Still face experiment. Serve and return interactions. Key person approach, professional love. Co-regulation and development of self regulation.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work40.00%
End of Module Formal Examination60.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Essay Essay assessing the contribution of key theorists/theory to understanding children's development 1,3,5 40.0 Week 7
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam Terminal Exam focusing on key topics covered throughout the module. 1,2,3,4,5 60.0 End-of-Semester
Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Lecture 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Reading and Research 4.0 Every Week 4.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 3.00
Workload: Part Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Lecture 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Independent reading and research 4.0 Every Week 4.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 3.00

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Aubrey, K & Riley, A 2022, Understanding and Using Educational Theories, Sage Publishing London [ISBN: 9781529761306]
  • Levine, L & Munsch, J., 2021, Child Development An Active Learning Approach, Sage Publications NY [ISBN: 9781544359724]
  • Santrock, J.W 2020, Lifespan Development, McGraw-Hill OH, United State [ISBN: 1260571459]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Barnyard, P., Dillon, Norman, C., & Winder, B. 2019, Essential Psychology, 2nd Ed., Sage Publishing London [ISBN: 9781526456854]
  • Lightfoot, C. Cole, M., & Cole., S 2018, Development of Children (International Edition), 8th Ed., Worth Publishers NY [ISBN: 9781319188337]
  • Slater, A.M., & Quinn, P. C 2021, Developmental Psychology, revisiting the classic studies, 2nd Ed., Sage Publications London [ISBN: 9781526496843]
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
Supplementary Article/Paper Resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_HECEC_7 Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care 2 Mandatory

Cork Institute of Technology
Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown, Cork

Tel: 021-4326100     Fax: 021-4545343
Email: help@cit.edu.ie