PSYC 3151: Developmental Psychology of Children

Students explore normal human development from conception to middle childhood. A major focus is on the various genetic, environmental, social, family, and cultural factors that influence development in complex ways. The course has been designed to highlight cross-cultural research on development. Topics include major theoretical issues and research methods, prenatal development and birth, physical development throughout childhood, development of cognition and language, socialization (moral and sex-role development), and personality.

Learning outcomes

After you have successfully completed this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the historical foundations and major theoretical perspectives of human development.
  • Discuss research strategies researchers employ in the scientific study of human development.
  • Explain the major physical, cognitive and socioemotional developments that occur across development from conception up to and including the middle years of childhood.
  • Discuss the bidirectional interplay (interaction) of genetic (nature) and environmental (nurture) factors upon children's development.
  • Discuss key developmental issues such as critical periods of development, continuity vs. discontinuity of development, and universal vs. culture specific developments.
  • Critically reflect on developmental issues and research findings as presented in published articles, scholarly presentations, and web resources devoted to child development concerns.

Course topics

The course is divided into thirteen modules as follows:

  • Module 1: History, Theory, and Research Strategies
  • Module 2: Genetic and Environmental Foundations
  • Module 3: Prenatal Development
  • Module 4: Birth and the Newborn Baby
  • Module 5: Infancy and Toddlerhood: Physical Development
  • Module 6: Infancy and Toddlerhood: Cognitive Development
  • Module 7: Infancy and Toddlerhood Emotional & Social Development
  • Module 8: Early Childhood: Physical Development
  • Module 9: Early Childhood: Cognitive Development
  • Module 10: Early Childhood: Emotional & Social Development
  • Module 11: Middle Childhood: Physical Development
  • Module 12: Middle Childhood: Cognitive Development
  • Module 13: Middle Childhood: Emotional & Social Development

Required text and materials

  1. Berk, L.E. (2016). Revel for Infants and Children: Prenatal through Middle Childhood – Access Card, (8th ed.) Pearson Education Canada.
    ISBN: 9780134184340
    Type: Access Code Card

    Note: Students registering for this course will be using the 9th edition of the above textbook. The 9th edition can be purchased via the TRU Bookstore

    Berk, L.E. (2020) Revel for Infants and Children: Prenatal Through Middle Childhood (9th ed.)-with MyVirtualChild. Pearson Education Canada.
    Type: eText.
    ISBN: 9780135496916


Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.

In order to successfully complete this course, you must obtain at least 50% on the final mandatory examination and 50% overall. The following chart shows how the final grade is determined for this course.


Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 15%
Discussions 5%
Final Exam (Mandatory) 50%


Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 15%
Reflections 5%
Final Exam (Mandatory) 50%

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication through the Learning Environment’s “Mail” tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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