HDFS 311 Child Development
CRN: 25785

About the Course

This course provides an overview of child development from infancy through childhood. Students are provided the opportunity to explore developmental processes in physical, cognitive, language, social, and emotional domains at each of the stages of child development.  Processes are discussed within the framework of historical and contemporary child development theories and current research. Individual and contextual factors that influence child development will be examined. Topics related to methodologies used in the study of child development will also be discussed.

Course Goals

  1. Define the concept of development and describe the differences between normative and individual development.
  2. Describe the importance of developmental theories and the methodologies used to study child development.
  3. Describe the most important theories of child development.
  4. Describe important milestones of prenatal development.
  5. Describe the motor, perceptual, cognitive, and socio-emotional developmental milestones during infancy, toddlerhood, and childhood. 
  6. Describe major contextual challenges to psychological development faced by the majority of children in the world.

Learning Resources

All materials will be available through Blackboard Learn.

Course Syllabus

Theme 1: History, Theory, and Research Strategies in Child Development

Theme 2:  Genetic foundations and Environmental Contexts for Development

Theme 3: Prenatal Development

Theme 4: Cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical development in infancy and toddlerhood

Theme 5: Cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical development in early childhood

Theme 6: Cognitive, socio-emotional, and physical development in middle childhood


Use CRN: 25785 to register for the course at myPurdue website.

Course at a Glance

8 weeks

Schedule Type: Distance Learning

Instructional Method: Online
(This section is delivered 100% online)

Format: The course is entirely online, and so you can do this course anywhere that you can get access to a reliable internet connection, and you do not have to come to campus at all.

Assessments: The course assignments have deadlines, but you do not have to be at your computer at specific times.

Course Instructor

Dr. Ting Lu
Dr. Ting Lu

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