Development and Learning: Birth to 14

Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 quarters

Taught by

literacy education
literacy acquisition, ltheories of learning and brain development, research and assessment

This two-quarter program is designed for those interested in the interrelationships of development and learning and for those who wish to pursue a career in teaching. Participants will explore neurological, social, cognitive, linguistic and literacy development in children from birth to 14 years of age and will examine the implications of “neurotypical” and “neurodiverse” development for individuals, their parents and their teachers. Neurotypical individuals are those whose development falls within current norms specified by society, psychologists and medical doctors; neurodiverse individuals are those whose development does not conform to stated norms but who exhibit their own unique strengths, gifts and challenges.

Winter quarter, guiding questions include: 1) Which factors shape development in young children?; 2) How does language develop and affect the learning process?; 3) What are the similarities, differences and influences of first and second language on development?; and 4) What roles do societal norms and expectations play in the expression of development in children’s lives?

Spring quarter, guiding questions include: 1) How are neurotypical and neurodiverse individuals alike and different?; 2) How does public schooling impact development of children who are neurotypical and neurodiverse, particularly in the area of literacy acquisition?; 3) How is oral language acquisition related to literacy acquisition and how do we evaluate reading development in children?; and 4) How might we advocate for diverse learners?

Students will develop knowledge in a research-based understanding of child development from a variety of theoretical perspectives; the relationships of language development, literacy acquisition and learning; an understanding of how to support the acquisition of English for students who are second language learners; the historical, sociocultural and political contexts of public schooling; information about neurotypical and neurodiverse development; and the ways in which children acquire literacy skills.

In addition, students will develop skills in observing and documenting language development of individual and groups of children; analyzing oral and written language development; determining ways to advocate for and include diverse learners in the classroom; methods for determining children’s strengths and needs in reading acquisition; and interpreting reading assessment results.

Program activities include interactive lectures and workshops, seminars, weekly writing, small group investigations and a long-term case study project documenting the growth of one child. Participants’ work in the program will be assessed through a case study project, written papers, participation in all class and assigned activities and a final portfolio.


Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

education, psychology and social services.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online

More information about online learning.

Required Fees

$50 for entrance fees.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Winter); 16 (Spring)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 50


Course Reference Numbers

Jr (16 credits): 20127
Sr (16 credits): 20128

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Accepting New Students

Course Reference Numbers

Jr - Sr (16 credits): 30079

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