Exploring Learning and Development


Fall 2013, Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters

Taught by

instructional systems technology, education, psychology

The central intent of this yearlong program is to explore the theory and practice of human development. This will include taking a close look at classical and contemporary learning theories and educational practices along with an ongoing emphasis on the topic of psychological health. We will begin by developing a thoughtful and theory-based understanding of ourselves as unique learners, move to an investigation of educational processes and learning principles, and culminate with a major student-led research project looking at the learning and developmental principles guiding contemporary schooling structures and practices.

This program will provide many engaging and interconnected opportunities for developing and refining academic skills in writing, oral communications, critical reading, research and statistics, and is designed to foster a strong foundation in psychology, including learning theory, developmental psychology and psychological research. Because the program will progressively build on the theme of development and learning from quarter to quarter, while creating an increasingly interpersonally effective learning community, students are encouraged to stay in the program all three quarters.

Some of the specific questions we will consider in this program include: In what ways do people differ in their learning styles and developmental pathways? How does the experience of learning change over the lifespan? How have recent findings in neuroscience changed our understanding of learning and development? In which ways do 21st-century schools base their practices on effective developmental principles?

During the fall quarter, we will begin with the topic of “learning about yourself as a learner,” engaging with such topics and activities as learning theory, personality theory, writing skills, critical reading, statistics, educational autobiography and group work. In the winter quarter, we will emphasize “learning about teaching,” with a focus on developmental theory, instructional strategies, group dynamics, history of education, research in psychology and education. Spring quarter we will build on our work from the first two quarters as we analyze current educational practices from a developmental perspective with an intensive study of a school of your choice, including conducting preliminary background research, completing a three-week ethnographic study at a school site and preparing and presenting a formal research report.

The selection of readings and specific topics will be responsive to student interests and background—authors whose work we are likely to read include: Dan Siegel, Ken Wilber, John Bowlby, Carl Jung, John Dewey and Jean Piaget.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

psychology and education.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online:


Date Revision
January 4th, 2013 This program is no longer offered; Scott Coleman will be serving as Academic Dean.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Freshmen–Sophomore; 50% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 23


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Accepting New Students


Students seeking to enroll this quarter (who are not continuing from fall quarter) should meet with the faculty during the academic fair to discuss requirements for starting winter quarter.

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Enrollment Closed

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