Sonoma State University
Education 420
Child Development in the Family, School, and Community

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Spring 2012



Lisa Pollack, M.A.
Office: Stevenson 3021
Phone: (707) 664-2672

Office hours: Tuesdays 12-1 and by appointment

Course Description:
This course will explore the predictable developmental stages that all children pass through, physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially. The major theorists of child development will be studied, and their ideas will be applied. We will also discuss the variety of experiences in the family, school, and community that shapes the uniqueness of each child. The following strands will be woven throughout the course: equity, gender issues, culture, and changes in ideas and practices in homes, schools and in society.  Class sessions will include whole group and small group discussions, multiple opportunities to work collaboratively with classmates, videos, and student presentations.

The course satisfies the General Education Course Area E - The Integrated Person and may count as an upper division GE course only if taken no sooner than the term in which upper-division standing (completion of 60 semester units) is attained. Please see GE policy on the web at

The course also is a pre-requisite for the multiple-subject credential program.   To satisfy that requirement, the student must earn a grade of "C" or better.

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Required Texts: (bring to weekly class sessions)

  • Child Development and Education, 4th edition by Teresa McDevitt and Jeanne Ormrod. Merrill. 2010. ISBN 9780137133833

Recommended Texts (you'll be assigned one in class):

  • Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas. Random House, 2003. ISBN: 9780812968378
  • The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. Spiegel & Grau/Random House, 2010.
    ISBN: 9780385528207
  • The Glass Castle  by Jeannette Walls.  Scribner, 2005. ISBN: 9780743247542
  • Devil in the Details by Jennifer Traig. Back Bay Books/ Little, Brown and Co, 2004. ISBN: 9780316010740
  • The Ride Together  by Paul and Judy Karasik, by Washington Square Press, 2003, 2004. ISBN: 9780743423373
  • True Notebooks  by Mark Salzman. Alfred Knopf, 2003. ISBN: 9780375727610

All books can be found at the SSU Bookstore, North Light Books in Cotati and on reserve in the SSU Library. Additional articles will be assigned throughout the course to supplement and enrich the textbook information. Articles will be distributed in class or found on the schedule page of the course website.

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Course Objectives and Student Learning Objectives:
At the end of the class, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development which occurs in childhood from infancy through adolescence. (TPE’s 6, 7, 8)
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the effects of the family, school and the community in the growth and development of the child with special
    emphasis on multicultural issues, discrimination and equity. ( TPE ‘s 6, 8, 11, 12)
  3. Articulate ways in which the theories of child development impact educational programs, parenting and teaching strategies, and materials designed for children. (TPE 6)
  4. Identify a variety of community resources which are available to support children and families. (TPE 11)

As a general education requirement and a prerequisite to the Multiple Subject Credential, this course will also address the following goals:

State of California Teacher Performance Expectations:

TPE 6 - Developmentally appropriate teaching practices
TPE 8 - Learning about students
TPE 11 - Social environment
TPE 12 - Professional, legal, and ethical obligations

SSU General Education Objectives :

  1. Acquire a foundation of intellectual skills and capacities including: developing intellectual curiosity; developing research skills; writing and speaking effectively to various audiences; evaluating everyday experiences critically; working collaboratively; developing skills in using information technology; imagining, designing and executing scholarly and creative projects
  2. Develop social and global knowledge including: understanding human diversity and multicultural perspectives; actively engaging in the community; understanding the global environment; understanding social justice issues
  3. Use multiple methods of inquiry and approaches to knowledge
  4. Develop capacities for integration and lifelong learning: including integrating general education experiences; engaging in responsible citizenship

Connections to the School of Education's Vision:

Performance Expectations:
c. Informed by developmental and learning theory
e. Use technology to support active and authentic learning
f. Create and work in collaborative and inclusive communities
g. Demonstrate and promote global, multicultural perspectives
a. Believe all students can be successful in school and that learning is a lifelong endeavor
b. Value social and emotional growth and an ethic of caring, nurturing, and learning in classrooms, schools, and communities
c. Value culturally responsive and responsible practices, and are knowledgeable and appreciative of the diversity among learners
d. Believe that knowledge and learning are based on critical thinking, inquiry and creativity
e. Believe that social justice, fairness, equality of opportunity and civic engagement are vital components of a democratic, free public school education

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Classroom Protocol

  • Attendance and Participation: Attendance and participation in class is essential. Plan to attend all classes for the full time period. If you need to leave early or arrive late, please let me know, otherwise your attendance will not be counted. Our class meetings are designed with the expectation that you have read all of the assigned readings prior to coming to class. Be prepared to share your understandings and questions about the reading; the participation grade for students who are not prepared will be affected. There will be a great deal of discussion and exchange of ideas and experiences during class. Please remember to be respectful of divergent ideas and that our different life experiences have shaped our views. Also be sensitive to allowing your classmates equal access "to the floor"as well as actively listening to their comments.

  • Absences: If you are unable to attend a class session, notify me in advance. Being absent does not excuse you from anything that was discussed or due in class. Homework or other assignments that are due must be submitted electronically before the start of the class session, with a hard copy brought to class on your return. It is your responsibility to find out what you have missed when you are absent, and to make-up any in-class assignments that were given. If you are absent for more than one class meeting, your grade will be affected unless alternate work is discussed and submitted. Students who are absent for more than 3 class sessions will fail the course except for extenuating circumstances that are discussed with the instructor.

  • Electronics: Sorry, no laptops, cell phones, text messaging, etc. Recent research on multitasking shows that it negatively affects overall performance (see Gorlick and Hubbard, 2009). Even quiet texting and checking emails is distracting to me and your classmates. If you need to keep your cell phone on because of an emergency, please set it to "vibrate" and quietly step outside to take your call. If you need to use a laptop for taking notes, discuss this possibility with me.

  • Office Hours: If at any time during the course, you have questions about the reading, assignments or grading, I encourage you to visit me during office hours. If you can’t make my office hour time, we can schedule a different time that works for both of us.

  • General Classroom Etiquette: We all contribute to creating a positive learning environment. Please follow these general guidelines: be “present” in class, arrive on time and engage in active listening; refrain from talking or whispering when someone is talking, working on other coursework, or dozing.

  • Dropping and Adding
    Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drops, academic renewal, etc. Information on add/drops is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for adding and dropping classes.

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Course Requirements and Assignments: The following assignments are required for this course. Their due dates are listed on the course schedule. For more details on each assignment, use the link to the Assignments page on the course website.

• Attendance and Participation: Attendance will be taken at each class session; students receive points for attending and participating. Students who are 1) present but not participating and/or 2) engaged in activities that are distracting to the learning environment will not receive credit for that class meeting.
(Addresses course objectives 1,2,3,4)

Weekly Homework: There will be regular homework assignments in which you will be applying your understanding of the course readings. These will be described in class with additional information on the course website. I will either review or collect your homework on those weeks. There is no need to hand in hard copies of homework submitted to Moodle. Homework may be emailed to me if you are absent, prior to the start of the class session. No late homework is accepted.
(Addresses course objectives 1,2,3,4)

Comprehension Quizzes: There will be 5 multiple-choice quizzes throughout the course that will demonstrate your understanding of the weekly assigned readings and class discussions. Quizzes will be graded both on individual effort and your Team responses. Team members will also be grading one another on effort and preparation. The lowest quiz score will not be calculated.
(Addresses course objectives 1,2,3)

In-Depth Research Study: This research project or paper is an opportunity for you to choose a particular subject to study in more depth. You will present your study in both a written report and during a brief presentation that you’ll share with some of your classmates. Topics must be approved before beginning. Submit a hard copy of your paper as well as submit an electronic copy to turnitin on Moodle.
(Addresses course objectives 1,2,3,4)

From Theory to Practice Project: To demonstrate understanding and synthesis of the course content, students will work in groups to create a project which will focus on a specific age group and identify ways that developmental and learning theorists explain and interpret the child’s development and identify strategies that can support a child at that age level, both in the home and in the classroom context. There will be both an individual grade and a group grade for this assignment.
(Addresses course objectives 1,2,3,4)

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Grading Policy:
Your grade in this course will be based on your completion of all course requirements. Your written work will be graded according to how fully and completely you demonstrate understanding of the course content and how well you integrate your knowledge with practical examples. All of your writing should include your own analysis and synthesis. Attention will also be given to the clarity and organization of your writing.

Class attendance and participation is noted each day. Students who come prepared to discuss the reading, having completed the homework, and are meaningfully involved during class discussions and activities, will earn credit for participation. Students do not need to speak in whole group discussions to demonstrate their involvement, though active participation in small groupwork is essential.

The following points can be earned:

Course attendance and participation
(5 pts/day for consistent and active involvement; coming to class prepared)

75 points

Weekly Homework ( Library Research = 10 pts; Moodle Introduction Forum= 5 pts; In-Depth Study Inquiry Questions = 5 pts; In-Depth Study Proposal = 5 pts; In-Depth Study Introduction Draft= 5 pts; In-Depth Study References Draft= 5 pts; In-Depth Study Paper draft = 15 pts; Moodle Multiple Intelligence Response = 5 pts; Moodle Debate = 5 pts; Moodle Reading Queries = 5 pts/each; Book Club Questions = 15 pts; Community Resource Report = 10 pts

100 points

Comprehension Quizzes
(4x20pts + 20 pts from team feedback)

100 points

In depth study

80 points

In depth study presentation and abstract
15 points

From Theory to Practice Project

80 points

 The basis for letter grades is as follows, with a total of 450 points:

A = Outstanding Work

A = 100%-93%

A- = 92.9% - 90%

B = Good Work

B+ = 89.9% -88%

B = 87.9% - 83%

B- = 82.9% - 80%

C=Satisfactory Work

C+ = 79.9% -78%

C = 77.9% - 73%

C- = 72.9% - 70%

D = Poor Work

D+ = 69.9% -68%

D = 67.9% - 63%

D- = 62.9% - 60%

F = Failing Work

Below 60%

Extra Credit: Extra credit can be earned throughout the semester; the maximum allowed is 25 points. There are a variety of options that are described on the course website. The last date to submit extra credit is the 15th week of the course. Read the Suggestions for Extra Credit document. If you will be participating in a classroom observation, use these observations forms, each is 2 pages: for preschool and for a K-12 classroom.

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Submitting Course Assignments:
Written assignments will be considered late if they are not turned in on their due date. If you are absent, you must email an electronic copy to me before the start of class on the due date, and submit a hard copy during the next class. Late work is accepted (except on weekly homework), yet points will be deducted for each week that it is late.

Students must submit electronic copies of the In-Depth Study to turnitin on Moodle.

Double-dipping:  All work submitted for this course must be written specifically for this course.  If you'd like to further develop a theme that you researched for a different class, you must speak to me about this possibility, with a clear proposal to achieve a different study and the inclusion of earlier work.

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University Policies

Academic integrity

In your writing for this class, you will be referring to ideas from the textbooks and other sources. Make sure that you cite the references following APA format. If you are taking language directly from other sources, use quotation marks. If you are paraphrasing ideas, you must use your own words and list the reference following the sentence, using its source, author, and page number. Please see me if you are unsure about the correct attribution of your research before you submit your work.

Cheating on exams or plagiarism (presenting the work of another as your own, or the use of another person’s ideas without giving proper credit) will result in a failing grade and sanctions by the University. For this class, all assignments are to be completed by the individual student unless otherwise specified.

The University’s Cheating and Plagiarism policy is available at

Campus Policy on Disability Access for Students
If you are a student with a disability and you think you may require accommodations, please register with the campus office of Disability Services for Students (DSS), located in Salazar Hall - Room 1049, Phone: (707) 664-2677, TTY/TDD: (707) 664-2958. DSS will provide you with written confirmation of your verified disability and authorize recommended accommodations. This authorization must be presented to the instructor before any accommodations can be made. The policy can be found at

Emergency Evacuation
If you are a student with a disability and you think you may require assistance evacuating a building in the event of a disaster, you should inform me about the type of assistance you may require. You and I will discuss your specific needs and the type of precautions that should be made in advance of such an event (i.e. assigning a buddy to guide you down the stairway). I encourage you to take advantage of these preventative measures as soon as possible and contact the Disability Services for Students office if other classroom accommodations are needed.

SSU Writing Center

The SSU Writing Center is located in Schulz 1103. The Writing Center helps SSU students, faculty, and staff members (as well as members of the wider community) become better writers and produce more professional documents. The Writing Center website is located at

Library Liaison
Joe Marquez is the librarian who works closely with students enrolled in Education coursework. Joe can be reached at 707-664-3464 or

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