03079 - Developmental Psychology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

After having attended the course students will have acquired a good knowledge of: - the main theories of psychological development in its main aspects: motor, perceptual, communicative-linguistic, cognitive, emotional and relational; - the developmental phases of the above aspects from prenatal life to school age; - the methods and observational tools of children's behavior; - the strategies apt to cope with the complexity of relationships among children, teachers, and parents; -modalities to plan educational-didactic paths aiming at supporting children's psychological development taken into account the continuity between preschool and school age and the relevance of collaborating with the family; - the use of psychological references in order to cope with the issues raised by working in educational and school contexts.

Course contents

The course illustrates the development of motor, perceptual, communicative, linguistic, emotional, cognitive and learning competences, focusing on changes that occur during pre-and post-natal, infancy, preschool and school age till adolescence. The course explains the factors contributing to these changes and the processes underlying them. Classic theories, i.e. those of Piaget, Vygotskij, and Bowlby and criticisms and innovations made by some contemporary theoretical positions will be presented. Experimental and observational evidences, taken from different contexts (family, school, laboratory), regarding each of the theories presented will be discussed.


References for preparing the exam:

Santrock J. W. (2017). Psicologia dello Sviluppo (3rd ed). Milano: McGraw-Hill, chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13.

Berti A. E., Bombi A. S. (2013). Corso di Psicologia dello Sviluppo. Bologna: Il Mulino, pp. 281-296.

Students have the possibility, if they are interested in it, to carry out a deepened study of a topic of the lessons by agreeing it with the professor.

Other texts of developmental psychology available for the understanding of the covered topics:

Barone L. (a cura di, 2009). Manuale di psicologia dello sviluppo. Roma: Carocci.

Belsky J. (2009). Psicologia dello sviluppo. Bologna: Zanichelli.

Berti A. E., Bombi A. S. (2001). Psicologia dello sviluppo. I. Storia, teorie e metodi. Bologna: Il Mulino.

Bruner, J. (1996). La cultura dell'educazione. Edizione it. 2004. Milano: Feltrinelli.

Butterworth, G., Harris, M. (1998). Fondamenti di psicologia dello sviluppo. Hove, Sussex: Psychology Press. Ed. italiana a cura di A. Sansavini, presso libreria Bonomo, Via Zamboni, Bologna.

Camaioni, L., Aureli, T., Perucchini, P. (2004). Osservare e valutare il comportamento infantile. Bologna: Il Mulino.

Camaioni, L., Di Blasio, P. (2002). Psicologia dello sviluppo. Bologna: Il Mulino.

Gillibrand R., Lam V., O'Donnel V.L., Tallandini M.A. (2013). Psicologia dello sviluppo. Milano: Pearson.

Miller, P. H. (2011). Teorie dello sviluppo psicologico (5th edition). Bologna: Il Mulino.

Schaffer, H. R. (1998). Lo sviluppo sociale. Milano: Cortina.

Teaching methods

Teaching takes place through frontal lessons, alternating with moments of discussion and reflection with students on the topics presented in the frontal lessons. In order to achieve terminological, conceptual and methodological mastery of the topics and its applications in the field of education, the frequency of lessons is highly recommended.

Assessment methods

The exam consists of a written test with 2 open questions and 16 closed questions (multiple choice) on all the topics covered in the texts. The final score will be max 30 out of 30. In case of failure, the student can repeat the exam but not twice sequentially in the same session of examination.

The examination aims to assess:
- Organic knowledge of the subjects exposed in the texts and and during the lessons;
- Precise knowledge of the specific terminology used in the texts;
- Ability to make connections among the topics covered by the texts and the reference material under study;
- Ability to apply the acquired knowledge to observation in education contexts.

The student is required to complete the online registration (Almaesami) within the terms in order to be admitted to the exam. In case of technical problems the student is required to promptly contact the Segreteria Studenti and email prof. Sansavini (within the terms) who will consider the request and decide about the admission.


Teaching tools

Lessons will be accompanied by the use of a video-projector, a PC and a video-recorder (to share during the lessons texts, slides, videos).

Office hours

See the website of Alessandra Sansavini