Skip to content
Education & Development

Reading and child development: The Our Story app: Want to go further?

Updated Thursday 19th May 2011

If you're feeling inspired, why not find out how The Open University can take your interest further?

To learn more about child development and reading, consider these modules from The Open University

For those on low incomes financial assistance may be available for Open University courses. Visit our financial support section to find out more.

Understanding children
How can you improve a child’s confidence? What do children need to develop their self-esteem? How can being consistent, open and honest help support their personal growth? This introductory course follows a family and asks you to consider the choices and rights of the children as they grow up.

Discovering psychology
How much influence does personality have on the actions we take and beliefs we hold? How does personality work together with the world around us to shape our behaviour? How do other people affect our behaviour? What goes on in the brain when we use language or attend to the world around us? This course will introduce you to the different ways in which psychologists investigate these and other questions, and will show you how psychological research addresses real-life issues.

Child development
This course shows how psychological enquiry can help us to improve our understanding of the development of children and young people. It’s organised in four parts: Psychological development and early childhood, Children’s personal and social development, Cognitive and language development in children and Developmental psychology in action. This course will be attractive to anyone with an interest in (and concern for) children’s development, including those who work with children and who want to learn more about contemporary theories and research in this area.

Children’s Literature
This course provides a broad introduction to the vibrant and growing field of children’s literature studies. You will study children’s literature in English ranging from its beginnings in eighteenth-century chapbooks and fairy tales, through seminal nineteenth-century novels, to contemporary examples of fiction illustrating current trends. The course also includes the study of picture books old and new, stage performance and film, storytelling and poetry. You will learn about the distinctiveness and purposes of children’s literature, its prestigious and popular modes and its different representations of children’s worlds.

Understanding children's development and learning
This is a postgraduate course, designed for teachers, psychologists and those involved with children who are interested in up-to-date information and theory. It explains how theoretical and methodological frameworks contribute to understanding developmental change and how psychological research can inform educational and clinical practice. Block 3 focuses on learning disabilities including dyslexia.

Listen to our podcast for advanced students

Difficulties in Literacy Development
This postgraduate course will serve teachers and other professionals in mainstream and special schools, colleges and other educational settings. It aims to raise the standard of all students’ literacy levels and increase awareness of the barriers to learning some students face. You’ll explore and reflect on appropriate curriculum responses to the needs of children, and wider issues relevant to adults who experience difficulty in literacy development.


Using the Our Story app


For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

Moral behaviour Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: OU article icon

Education & Development 

Moral behaviour

Dr Robin Banerjee explores the subject of children's moral development, and the factors that lead them to develop a sense of morals

Cognition and gender development Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Open2 team article icon

Education & Development 

Cognition and gender development

This course taster is taken from the Open University’s ‘Child Development’ course (ED209). It is an extract from one of the four course text books (Banerjee, R. (2005) ‘Gender identity and the development of gender roles’, in Ding, S. and Littleton, K. S. (eds) Children’s Personal and Social Development, Oxford, Blackwell.) © Open University 2005

Play, learning and the brain Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Education & Development 

Play, learning and the brain

This free course, Play, learning and the brain, examines the area of brain-based learning, with a particular focus on the development of the young child's brain, and is of particular relevance to those who work with young children. We begin by looking at the structure and functions of the brain, and the impact that sensory deprivation can have on these. We consider the implications of current understandings of brain development for teaching and learning, particularly in an early years setting, and finish by exploring the value of play (particularly outdoor play) in children's learning and the development of their brains.

Free course
15 hrs
An introduction to software development Copyright free image Icon Copyright free: iStock free course icon Level 3 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

An introduction to software development

Software development is the practice of organising the design and construction of software, the beating heart of much technology fundamental to our personal and professional life. This free introductory course, An introduction to software development, discusses the engineering nature of software development, its challenges and some fundamental practices which have developed to meet them. Software development is a fast-moving discipline and as a software development professional you must be able to track its leading edge. The course also teaches you some fundamental skills to help you interact with the growing published academic and professional literature on the subject.

Free course
6 hrs
Exploring children's learning Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 2 icon

Education & Development 

Exploring children's learning

How does a child's mind and behaviour change as they develop over time? In this free course, Exploring children's learning, four theories of child development are explored. Each theory views child development from a different perspective and all have underpinned psychological research for many years, and continue to do so today. By the end of this course you will have a good understanding of each of the theories and will probably have begun to challenge your own assumptions about how your own children, or children you know, have developed over time.

Free course
20 hrs
How the Millennium Development Goals failed the world’s poorest children Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: © Dean Bertoncelj | article icon

Society, Politics & Law 

How the Millennium Development Goals failed the world’s poorest children

As we reach the end of the period set to achieve the UN Millennium Goals, Anna Childs says the world is way-off target.


Education & Development 

Exploring babies' and young children's development and learning

What significant processes occur in infancy for development and learning? How does cultural environment influence individual development? And how do infants begin to develop their understanding of other people? On this album, international experts present their perspectives on the ways infants and young children enter the social and cultural worlds around them, and ways that children develop their skills of thinking and learning. The speakers are Professors Rudolph Schaffer, Michael Cole, Alison Garton, Vasu Reddy and Dr Suzanne Zeedyk. The interviews are introduced and contextualised by Dr Dorothy Faulkner and Professor David Messer of The Open University. The material forms part of The Open University course ED841 Understanding children's development and learning.

2 hrs

Education & Development 

Exploring teaching and learning in real and virtual worlds

What can current theories about children’s learning and development contribute to the development of new teaching and learning methods in schools? And how are new digital technologies changing the ways children think and learn? This album introduces two elements of The Open University's presence in the virtual world Second Life™ and explores the way in which virtual worlds can offer new opportunities for teaching and learning. The album also explores some of the ways that the theories of Lev Vygotsky have influenced the use of dialogue and language in the classroom and the ways in which children and teachers interact with each other. The interviews and video tracks are introduced and contextualised by Dr Kieron Sheehy of The Open University. The material forms part of The Open University course ED841 Understanding children's development and learning.

1 hr 45 mins
Working mothers and guilt Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Working mothers and guilt

Studying animals too closely may have mislead psychologists to overwhelm working parents with guilt.