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Childhood is a time of rapid growth and development, and studying these changes is endlessly stimulating. In this free course, Introduction to child psychology, you will be introduced to the discipline of child psychology and some of the key questions that guide the understanding of childhood. These questions include 'What influences children's development?' and 'How do psychologists study the physical and cognitive changes that occur during childhood?' As you work through this material, you will also gain a deeper understanding concerning how psychologists work with young children across a range of applied settings through activities and audio-visual materials.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand the discipline of child psychology as an area of study
- understand how theories try to explain children’s development
- discuss important questions that are central to child psychology
- understand how child psychologists work in different applied settings.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- What is child psychology?
- Using theories to understand development
- Asking questions about children’s development
- Child psychologists in applied settings
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Introduction to child psychology
Within this free course, you will be introduced briefly to the discipline of child psychology and to theories and approaches that have been developed to help us understand and support children’s lives. By focusing on the individual child, psychologists can assess changes in the child’s abilities over time, including their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. There is also an emphasis on describing how development is shaped through internal and external influences, such as the role of the child’s immediate environment and the role of culture in influencing and shaping development. You will also learn about the role of child psychologists in applied settings and how they can work with other professionals to support the lives of children and young people.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 26th February 2016
Last updated on: Friday, 26th February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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