This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
Course Description and Objectives
This course explores the ecology of human development, or in other words, the complex interaction of a constantly changing organism and the environment. You will be introduced to theory related to the ecology of human development, including normative physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social development, and the impact of culture on each.
You will be encouraged to practice the language of psychology in order to carry out academic social research. In studying this subject, you will be given the opportunity to reflect on the notion that even though individuals and groups of individuals differ from one another, some ideas, values, and behaviors may be universally shared by humans in all cultures, including the capacity to learn a language, raise children, and fall in love. In particular, you will apply this reflective process to your own experience of cultural development in Italy. This course is ideal for students majoring in psychology, education, or for those who wish to carry out independent study.
All the people like us are WE, and everyone else is THEY;
And THEY live over the sea, while WE live over the way.
But – would you believe it? – They look upon WE as only a sort of THEY.
– Rudyard Kipling
Field Research Project
You will investigate the principles and psychological outcomes of the Italian, Montessori, and American education systems through theoretical and direct experience in the Italian classroom setting. The class will first visit a Montessori elementary school in Perugia to observe classroom organization, style, and activities as well as interactions among students and teachers, which will be used as a mode of gathering data for an ethnographic research project on the implicit school curriculum. For the second visit, you will prepare and lead English language activities in the classroom collecting information on students’ responses and interactions while teaching the language.
Visit the Umbra student-run class blog dedicated to sharing their interactive activities, which are designed to teach American culture to non-native English speakers in primary schools.
Mandatory course reader including:
- Heine, S.J. (2008), Cultural Psychology . New York: W.W. Norton & Company
- De Vijver, F.J.R., Chasiotis, A. & Breugelmans, S.M. (2011). Fundamental questions of cross-cultural psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Rogoff, B. (2003). The cultural nature of human development. New York, US: Oxford University Press
- Matsumoto, D. & Juang, L. (2004). Culture and Psychology, 3rd Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning
- Gannon, M.J. & Pillai, R. (2012). Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys Through 31 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity. Thousand Oaks, US: SAGE Publications, Inc.]