Child Development in the Family, School, and Community
We will be reading a detailed textbook and occasional articles in this course. It is imperative that you keep up with this reading. You are to read and respond to the weekly readings prior to the class meeting for which they are assigned. Our class discussions and activities are predicated on all of us having read this material.
To share your ideas, comments, and understanding of the readings, you will be participating in weekly class discussion forums on WebCT with your classmates and with me. After reading the assigned chapters, you will share an example or anecdote which pertains to the themes and ideas discussed in the readings. Your examples may stem from many sources: your memories of your own childhood, children you know (either your own or those of friends or relatives), from your work with children, or from the media. In your example, cite the reference to the textbook by topic and by page number.
Your responses on WebCT will be of two different types. The primary response, as described above, you will post bi-weekly. These will need to be posted by Sunday night so that your classmates can read and respond by the next class. On alternate weeks, you will respond to the comments and examples of one of your classmates in a secondary response. This means you will be writing each week about the readings.
Each week has its own discussion forum on the WebCT, so make sure you are in the correct discussion forum for the readings you are responding to. Under subject, write which topic you are discussing. Your classmates can choose to post a primary or a secondary response to your topic or they can define their own topic. It makes it more interesting if students respond to one another's ideas and stories, so try to relate your responses to the topics of your classmates. I suggest that after you complete the weekly readings, and before you write your response, you read some of the postings already in the discussion forum. In this way, it creates more of a discussion flow. At the beginning of your posting, write down whether yours is a primary or secondary response.
I strongly suggest that you write your reading responses in a word processing document and then copy and paste this into the compose window on our course WebCT site. This way you can save your work to refer to it later as well as use spell and grammar check. If you need assistance with the use of WebCT, contact web support at IT.
Twice during the semester I will evaluate your postings and responses and record your score. You can earn up to 4 points each week for these responses. Obviously, when you skip a week on WebCT, you will receive a 0.
Your participation in the WebCT discussion forums will be assessed using the following criteria:
of America's Children Presentation:
Each county has a variety of resources that serve children and families in need. The purpose of this assignment is to learn what is available in our area. Choose a community resource agency which offers services to children and/or families. The agency should be located in the county in which you are currently living. After signing up for a community resource agency in class, you will make arrangements to visit or conduct a phone interview with its personnel. Use the template provided on the course website to describe your agency. Post your report in the Community Resource Report folder on WebCT. You will also submit a hard copy to me.
The Internet is becoming a big influence in the lives of school-aged children. Some of the sites developed for children offer a variety of information and resources. Others are less helpful and less appropriate. You can choose any site to describe and evaluate. Find an online site which is designed for elementary, middle, or high school-aged children. Use the template included below. You will then post this evaluation in the Internet Site Description folder on WebCT and also submit a hard copy to me.
Read one chapter book which
portrays a developing child. Make sure that you
choose a book that depicts, with enough detail, the
physcial, cognitive, and socio/emotional development of the
main character. Also, do not select a book which is part of
an extended series of books (e.g. Goosebumps, The
Babysitters' Club). Check with me if you are unsure whether
the book is appropriate for this assignment.
Choose a topic which holds a personal interest for you and which relates to the content of this course. Any of the ideas which we have discussed in class or are covered in the textbook are suitable to study. You can choose to do a research paper or a creative project. Some possible ideas for papers or projects are included below. You may work with a partner or by yourself. If you work with a partner, the study must include more complex components than an individual study.
Topics must be approved before beginning this project. Complete a proposal form given in class. I will give you feedback on your proposal and return it to you the next week. Please let me know if I can help in any way.
The research paper will have four parts:
Presentations: You will present your study to the class during our last two course meetings. Presentations will last 5-10 minutes, and should include an overview of your study, its relevance, and your findings. One idea is to highlight one aspect of your study that you found interesting or surprising. Feel free to structure your presentation in as creative manner as you want.
Ideas for creative projects: