The cognizance of children is one of the most studied areas of psychology. The history of children shows that they did not play a prominent part in society until the last few hundred years. It focuses on the mind and behaviour of children from pre-natal to adolescence (the period around puberty teenage years).
Child psychology deals with the study of how children grow physically, mentally, socially and emotionally. Historically, children were often thought of as simply being smaller versions of adults, and so they experienced everything that adults did but on a basic level. When Jean Piaget (1896-1980) suggested that children actually think differently than adults, and so today we think of them as unique and complex, Albert Einstein (1879-1955) proclaimed that the discovery was "so simple that only a genius could have thought of it." The place of children in society and family structure has become valued and one of nurture.
Module 1: The History of Childhood in Britain
In this module we explore the history of childhood in Britain from a social and historical perspective. How has the way we see and define childhood changed and look at how the role of the child has changed and been shaped by historical events such as the industrial revolution? It is also known that as with anyone, the experience of a child depended on where they came from, the wealth and status of their family. We also look at how the beginning and end of childhood has changed in terms of social perspectives and family expectations.
A timeline is created to show what has influenced the key development of role of a child, and give students a basis and tools to evaluate the emergence of child psychology. We start by looking at our own experience of childhood and case studies of difference experiences. Today a set of law exists to protect the right of a child, but even then the experience of childhood is wide and varied. Guidance is given in detail of how to answer exam questions and write essays.
Module 2: Child Psychology Explained
Today children have a unique opportunities, expectations and social perspective. Within this module the aims and objectives of child psychology are examined in this context. Methods of research to specifically help this discussion, together with ethical considerations which are specific to children will be used. Questions will be asked why when we have a broad range of general psychology techniques, separate methods are needed to work with children.
Why does our modern society demand specific methodologies and approaches tailored to children? The answers focus around the needs of the child, how they are reared and what common practices, legislation and influences shape this process. What do parents bring to influence this process, and what are the long term effects of this? Modern child psychology will be grounded in a historic perspective of the development of the field of psychology.
Module 3: Child development part 1
The nature nurture debate is explored and the possible effects of genetics versus the environment/ life experiences with others (and any overlap) on child development is discussed. We start by looking at genetic inheritance in depth as Child development begins before birth and its influence on prenatal experience, and later in shaping the child in terms of personality is understood.
What are the external influences on prenatal development and how do these influence the developing child? How and what do children get from their parents from inherited illness to certain behaviours is introduced.
Module 4: Child development part 2
Early infancy is discussed and follows on from the last section. Labour and Childbirth has psychological implications for both the child and mother; these are explored. Cognition is covered in detail as babies are born with basic innate abilities, but as babies grow, they learn and develop.
What helps an infant make sense of their world and what influences this process? All the factors that affect early development of childhood from biological influences such as how babies see and hear to the role of the parent are discussed in detail to ground these concepts and processes needed in delivering effective child psychology.
Module 5: How do children form relationships?
Children start life in some form of “family” and so the family system and the role it has is explored. It is thought that the most dramatic changes in social development occur in childhood and that is strongly shapes the rest of a life, so there is great interest in studying this phase. Forming relationships is key to our survival; therefore, how we form these relationships influences our lives. In this module, the process of relationship building is discussed, together with how attachments are formed.
There is considerable theory presented, but the main theorist used will be Bowlby and his Theory of Attachment based which he wrote based on the selection theory. He states that attachment develops in stages, and children develop as long as separation of a child-mother/care-giver does not happen when a child is 2 years or younger. It happens from the need to gain safety and survival (food). What affects attachment at the various stages, e.g. from age to social background to culture is assessed and evaluated critically.
Module 6: The minds of children
Building on from module 5, how children process information is explored. How do children conceptualise, learn and store information and retrieve it from short- and long-term memory processes.
What is memory, its relevance to child development and the models of memory e.g. the impact of senses on prenatal memory? This will be linked to examining and critiquing theories of cognition, learning and socialisation to child development. Core psychology information and skills are introduced.
Module 7: Emotional development in children
Emotional development in childhood is defined and understood as it is an important biological and psychological process and one which can be shaped and influenced by many factors including peer, and familial, direct and indirect experience. Different emotional states such as anger and consequential behavioural issues are discussed. During the development of emotions children also develop the ‘self’.
In this module we look at the notion of the self, what it is and how does it help to shape the person that children will become. What makes some children be confident whilst others are desperate to conform, be liked and popular, others simply do not care of what others think of them. There will be some critical evaluation of theories, such as the differences in gender on anger, control, aggression and sexual prowess, and the effect of group dynamics, especially in child development.
Module 8: Cognitive development
In its simplest form, cognition is defined as the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. Humans are affected by their interactions. Within this module, we will concentrate on the theories of two people since cognition is a huge topic.
The first will be Piaget stages of child development based on the study of his own children and he stressed self-initiated discovery. The second will be Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development based on communication, cultural and historical psychology i.e. greater emphasis on social input. These two theories will be compared and critically analysed in order to understand cognition and how they researched the psychology of children and their development.
Module 9: Language development
Language in the spoken form is perhaps the most important method of communication we have as human beings. The basic anatomy, biology, physiology and acquisition of oral speech are explained. There are other forms of communication e.g. social interaction and behavioural concepts such as body language. We will also consider the diversity and function of language within society today and briefly discuss its implications on child development and child psychology of how language is acquired and learned.
Module 10: The adolescent child
Children are children until they are adults, but when is this, and what are the processes which precede adulthood? In this module we look at the physical and psychological aspects of adolescence including gender awareness, the consequences of puberty and hormonal change, reproduction and the influences these changes have on individuality and the emerging adult. What are the key changes? Issues of self-esteem, confidence and self-worth are very important during this phase of child development in terms of physical and psychological changes. We explore these and look at the consequential possibilities such as aggression, shyness, peer pressure and relationships.
This module will also present a brief overview and summary of the course from the history of childhood in Britain, explanation of child psychology through child development – so how do children form relationships and attachment, how do they learn and process information. Finally how emotions and cognition is developed as children grow and eventually become adults is explained. Theories that influence how child psychology is practiced today are critically evaluated.
All students must be 16 years of age and above.
Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.
Approximately 20 hours per unit
Final online multiple choice examination.
Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.
Diploma in Child Psychology
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The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.
The Level 3 Diplomas require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.
They provide an ability to gain and apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding in a specific subject at a detailed level. Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, NVQ3, BTEC Diplomas etc. are appropriate if you plan to progress to university study.
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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 31 December, 2010.