Edn 500: human development and learning

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Edward J. Caropreso, PhD

241 Education Building / phone: 962-7830 / fax: 962.3609 / email: caropresoe@uncw.edu

Office hours / f2f: M 9-11 am / T 12-2 pm / W 1-3 pm

Online: M 2-3 pm / T 2-4 pm / W 11-1 pm

This course has been designed as a one-semester graduate introduction to major theories, issues and research relating teaching and learning processes and human growth and development (birth-adolescence/adulthood), with particular attention on the array of learning theories that have evolved during the second half of the 20th century. This course will focus on building a foundation of knowledge and experiences about changes humans undergo psychologically, physically, socially, affectively and culturally that influence their learning and further development. This foundation is intended as a potential support for decision-making in variety of professional educational contexts.
EDN 500 reflects key components of the Watson School of Education’s Conceptual Framework related to significant aspects of professional development. Exposure to specific domains of professional knowledge and skill, such as access and interpretation of relevant professional resources, interpretation and application of learning and developmental theories and empirical findings, and the development and preparation of professional reports, will occur. EDN 500 will provide a foundation in learning and development theory that will support your developing competence as an education professional, especially related to informed decision-making, effective communication, and reflective professional practice, and help prepare you for leadership positions in professional education.


1) Ormrod, J. E. (2008). Human learning (5th). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice-Hall. (ISBN-13: 978-0-13-232749-7)

2) Daniels, D. H., Beaumont, L. J., & Doolin, C. A. (2008). Understanding children: An interview and observation guide for educators (2nd). Boston: McGraw Hill.

(ISBN-13: 978-0-07-337857-2)

3) Reserve readings for literature review project, available @ Randall Library in print and electronic formats (to be reviewed during the first 3 weeks):

Cooper, H. M. (1989). Integrating research (2nd);

Fink, A. (1998). Conducting research literature reviews;

Galvan, J. L. (1999). Writing literature reviews.
PURPOSE: This course has been developed to introduce graduates in early childhood, elementary and/or middle grades education to the domains of teaching and learning as they relate to and are influenced by the continuous processes of human development from childhood through adolescence and early adulthood. This will be accomplished through an examination of important theories, issues and research relating learning situations and instructional processes with developmental characteristics of learners and teachers.

KNOWLEDGE: (Students will be able to…)

1. a) identify major theories and fields of study in human development;

b) identify major theories and fields of study in human learning;

2. relate the study of human development and learning theory to specific instructional procedures, issues and contexts;

3. identify major domains of development especially with respect to individual variability;

4. distinguish between types of theories (developmental; learning) and their applications in varied and appropriate learning situations;

5. describe models of instruction intended to support and/or enhance specific learning outcomes in different learning domains (e.g., cognitive, affective, psychomotor);

7. a) distinguish between models of human development and models of human learning with respect to their relationships to instruction;

b) understand ways in which such models are intended to support and/or enhance specific learning outcomes in different learning domains (e.g., cognitive, affective, psychomotor);

8. explain general principles of assessment and evaluation related to human development and learning, including objective and performance methods and conditions appropriate for their application;

9. recognize the role of teacher-as-learner for life-long learning and development.
SKILLS: (Students will be able to…)

1. analyze, evaluate and synthesize different aspects of human development and human learning research, including the relevance and applicability of the findings to teaching and learning;

2. analyze, evaluate and synthesize significant theories of human development and human learning in terms of the relationship to learners’ personal, social, affective, psychomotor and cognitive make-up;

3. develop professional discourse skills related especially to written and oral expression.

DISPOSITIONS: (Students will be able to…)

1. appreciate the complexity of human development and learning especially with respect to the teacher’s role and relationship to learners;

2. appreciate the value, worth, and dignity of each learner (in educational settings) especially with regard to unique developmental differences;

3. appreciate the cognitive, affective, psychosocial and psychomotor variability among learners and the continuous changes that occur as individuals develop;

4. appreciate the importance of organization & planning in effective instruction & assessment;

5. value life-long learning for professional as well as personal development.


  1. ATTENDANCE: Student participation is essential to learning; therefore, attendance will be regularly monitored.

    1. > 90% is the required minimum attendance before points are deducted from final course scores (e.g., 7 of 8 f2f classes, including the final conference date and consistent, weekly online participation).

    2. Ten (10) points will be deducted for each class absence and/or missing weekly online participation resulting in < 90% attendance (appropriate and authentic documentation for absences, i.e., medical and/or professional justification, may be considered for < 90% attendance).

  1. CLASS PREPARATION AND PARTICIPATION: EDN 500 may be unlike any you’ve had before (or may have again). This course will engage you in a combination of independent and interactive, collaborative activities on which both your learning and evaluation will depend. The primary basis for both learning and assessment in EDN 500 will be small and large group discussion, independent reading and research, and a lot of writing both in/out of class and online. Students are therefore expected to be prepared for each class and/or online activity/interaction having completed any/all assignments by the specified assignment dates. (See course schedule below for specific assignments and due dates.)

NOTE. No credit will be given for any missed class assignments of any type. Missing &/or late assignments will not be accepted after their due dates; assignments can be delivered by classmates and/or faxed (emailed ONLY contingent on instructor approval) on due dates (see p. 3).


    1. Class will be based on small and large group interactions. Several types of small groups will be formed, some of which will last throughout the semester while others will change periodically as topics/tasks change.

    1. The course is divided into units (described below) that follow the core readings from your texts. One of the principal goals will be to connect learning theory and research with human development and instructional practices. In each unit, we will endeavor to make these connections. The following are the units of study.

  1. Introduction to Theory & Practice

    1. Learning Theory & the Brain

    2. Human Development Theory

  2. Biological & Environmental Foundations for Learning

    1. Learning and education as behavioral responsiveness

    2. The cultural context for learning and education

  3. Cognitive Foundations for Learning

    1. Cognition & Memory

    2. Cognition & Development

  4. Cognition & Learning

    1. Complex Learning: Metacognition, Self-regulation, Problem solving

    2. Complex Learning: Social processes and knowledge construction

    3. Affect & Motivation

  1. Class projects & procedures:

1. Weekly reading/writing schedule: Two books will serve as course texts (see above). Each week, 1 or more reading from each book will be prepared for class discussions, either/both f2f and online; the accompanying writings will be due to be posted on Blackboard according to the following schedule (you may want to keep notes to support class discussions).

F2F: Week 1: Introduction to course, core concepts, tasks & assignments; video viewing

(Weekly reading/writing assignments, both in class and online activities, begin Week 1 and continue through the end of the semester.

Schedule Overview & Due Dates



Ormrod **

Daniels et al **


Readings **

Lit Reviews


1/Jan 12




Cowles/4 Views (online)


Observation Project

Jan. 17

No class

MLK Holiday

2/Jan 31 Brnswk

1; 2

1; 2; 6

Additional readings: TBA

LR Topic/Question

Observation Project

3/Feb 14



3; 4; 5

1 (on line)

LR Topic Refined

Observation Project

4/Feb 28



3; 4; 5; 6

(Jigsaw SG)

2 (on line)

AnBib 1; 2; 3

SG Oral Prs

Observation Project

Mar 14

No class

Spring Break




7; 8; 9; 10

(Jigsaw SG)



Additional readings: TBA

3; 4 (on line)

AnBib 4; 5

SG Oral Prs

Observation Project Due




12; 13

(Jigsaw SG)

Review and discussion

Review and discussion

Oral Prs

Complete AnBib / LR Rough Draft Due



14; 15

(Jigsaw SG)

Review and discussion

Review and discussion

Oral Prs

Return RDs




Review and discussion

Review and discussion

Review and discussion

Oral Prs (as needed) Literature Review

Final Draft Due

May 9


Final Conference

5:30-8:15 pm

Final Reflective Paper

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