introduction to development

Part one: Content Review

Respond to each item. Each response should be concise and between 2–3 paragraphs in length. Use MS Word to write your responses and submit your answers to all three questions in one Word document. Copy and paste each question into the document, so your Instructor can see which questions you are answering.

  1. Explain what development is and why the study of development—particularly school-age and adolescent development—is important.

2. Identify and briefly describe at least two contemporary concerns (e.g., health and well-being, parenting and education, sociocultural contexts and diversity, and/or social policy) in the study of development. Then, explain how these concerns might factor into the study of school-age and adolescent development, using specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

3. Identify and briefly describe the three main developmental processes. Then, explain how these processes may be “bidirectional,” using at least two specific examples to illustrate your ideas.

Part two: Discussion: Major Issues in the Study of Development

In this week’s Learning Resources, three developmental issues are identified: nature-nurture, stability-change, and continuity-discontinuity. As the Learning Resources point out, few developmentalists take an extreme stance on any of these issues. Most acknowledge that both nature and nurture, stability and change, and continuity and discontinuity influence and characterize human development to some degree. In this Discussion, you will consider the information in the Learning Resources as you develop and articulate your stance on these three central issues. Reflect on the following:

  • To what degree do you think nature influences development, particularly in comparison to the influence of nurture?
  • Do you think that stability supersedes change in development, or vice versa?
  • To what extent do you view development as continuous and/or discontinuous?

With these thoughts in mind, follow the instructions below to post your response to this Discussion topic.

Write a 1-page brief description of your stance on nature-nurture, stability-change, and continuity-discontinuity, explaining to what degree you think each factor affects human development and why. Be sure to use the Learning Resources to support your response.

Part three: Assignment: Comparing Theories of Development

In this assignment, you will choose two of the theories presented in this week’s Learning Resources. You will compare the theories, explaining how they are similar and how they are different in their approach to human development. Then, you will consider the eclectic theoretical orientation and its implications for the study of school-age and adolescent development.

Choose two of the following theories, presented in this week’s Learning Resources:

  • Psychoanalytic (Freud)
  • Psychosocial (Erikson)
  • Cognitive (Piaget)
  • Sociocultural (Vygotsky)
  • Behavioral/operant conditioning (Skinner)
  • Social cognitive (Bandura)
  • Ethological (Lorenz, Bowlby)
  • Ecological (Bronfenbrenner)

In a 2- to 3-page paper, respond to the following:

  • Explain one way in which the two theories are similar in how they conceptualize human development, and one way in which the two theories are different in their approach.
  • Which of the two theories do you feel is most accurate, based on your own experiences? Why?
  • Consider the “eclectic” theoretical orientation. What is the benefit of an eclectic theoretical orientation when studying human development? Do you find the eclectic theoretical orientation more or less useful than the two theories you chose above? How do you think the eclectic theoretical orientation will influence your studies in this course?

Respond to all three parts separate and answer all questions in each part. Each part is a different topic.

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