Child Growth and Development

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ECE 102

       Course Name: Child Growth and Development

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides an overview of the theory and principles of human development.  Content includes in-depth study of physical, social, emotional and cognitive aspects, from conception to adolescence.  Special emphasis placed on child development theories of Piaget, Erikson, Vygotsky, Skinner, etc., and significance of family, peers, culture and school. Field observations required.

IV.   Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the course, students who satisfactorily complete all work will be able to:

A.    Give an overview of the various theories of child development and be able to explain the basic differences among these theories.
B.    Discuss/list the general characteristics of children in the development stages of prenatal, infancy, toddlerhood, preschool, and school-age child.
C.    Gain current information about the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development of young children.
D.    Describe each child as a unique individual who grows through stages on his/her own timetable and in relation to his/her own environment, history, and family values.
E.    Observe children to gain competency in evaluating and assessing children all aspects of development.
F.    Recognize indicators of possible abuse and neglect, and follow established program policies and state laws in response.

In addition to the objectives listed above, this course also meets the following Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and the Early Childhood Content Standards as put forth by the Illinois State Board of Education.

STANDARD 2 – Human Development and Learning
The competent teacher understands how individuals grow, develop, and learn and provides learning opportunities that support the intellectual, social, and personal developments of all students.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
2A.  understands how students construct knowledge, acquire skills, and develop habits of mind.
2B.  understands that students’ physical, social, emotional, ethical, and cognitive development influences learning.
2C.  understands human development, learning theory, neural science, and the ranges of individual variation within each domain.
2D.  understands that differences in approaches to learning and performance interact with development.

STANDARD 3 – Diversity
The competent teacher understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
3C.  understands how students’ learning is influenced by individual experiences, talents, and prior learning, as well as language, culture, family, and community values.
3D.  understands and identifies differences in approaches to learning and performance, including different learning styles, multiple intelligences, and performance modes.

STANDARD 6 – Instructional Delivery
The competent teacher understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage students’ development of critical thinking, problem-solving, and performance skills.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
6A.  understands the cognitive processes associated with various kinds of learning and how these processes can be stimulated.
6B.  understands principles and techniques, along with advantages and limitations, associated with various instructional strategies.
6C.  knows how to enhance learning through the use of a wide variety of materials as well as human and technological resources.

STANDARD 9 – Collaborative Relationships
The competent teacher understands the role of the community in education and develops and maintains collaborative relationships with colleagues, parents/guardians, and the community to support students’ learning and well-being.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
9A.  understands schools as organizations within the larger community context.
9B.  understands the benefits, barriers, and techniques involved in parent/family relationships.

STANDARD 10 – Reflection and Professional Growth
The competent teacher is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates how choices and actions affect student, parents, and other professionals in the learning community and actively seeks opportunities to grow professionally.

Knowledge indicators – the competent teacher:
10A.  understands that reflection is an integral part of professional growth and improvement of instruction.
10B.  understands methods of inquiry that provide for a variety of self-assessment and problem-solving strategies for reflecting on practice.


STANDARD 6 – Curriculum: Physical Development and Health
The competent early childhood teacher understands the comprehensive nature of the physical, emotional, and social well-being of children from birth through grade three; understands the role of human movement and physical activity as elements central to active, healthy life styles; and promotes the abilities of children from birth through grade three as they develop and practice skills that contribute to good health and enhance quality of life.

Knowledge indicators: The competent early childhood teacher
6A.  Understands ways in which physical, social and emotional well-being of children enhances enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and social interaction.
6D.  Understands the phases, stages, and continuity of motor development
6F.  Understands and respects differences among children in physical activity settings.

STANDARD 8 -  Human Development and Learning
The competent early childhood teacher understands how individuals grow, develop, and learn and provides learning opportunities that support the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of all children from birth through grade three.

Knowledge indicators:  The competent early childhood teacher
8A.  Understands how children from birth through grade three develop physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, linguistically, and aesthetically.
8B.  Understands how to provide learning opportunities, which support and enhance each area of development-physical, social, emotional, cognitive, linguistic, and aesthetic.
8C.  Understands how brain development from birth through grade three is promoted through developmentally and culturally appropriate learning experiences.
8D.  Understands how children from birth through grade three differ in their development and in their approaches to learning.
8E.  Understands how to support the development and learning of individual children from birth through grade three.
8F.  Understands the developmental consequences of stress and trauma on children and their families, including attention to protective factors and resilience.
8G.  Understands the development of mental health and the importance of supportive relationships.
8H.  Understands basic health, nutrition and safety needs of children from birth through grade three.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

A.    Child Development
        1.    How and why children change over time.
        2.    Goals
            a.    Identify Behavior
            b.    Describe Behavior
            c.    Explain Behavior
        3.    Reasons to Study Child Development
        4.    Research/Observational Procedures
            a.    Naturalistic Observation
            b.    Field Experience
            c.    Interview
        5.    Ethical Issues in the Observation Process
    B.    Historical and Cultural Aspects of Child Rearing
        1.    Overview of Diverse Child Rearing Practices
        2.    Beginnings of St5rudy of the Child
        3.    Recent Approaches to Child Rearing
        4.    Issues in Child Rearing
        5.    Childrearing in the Future
    C.    Conception and Pregnancy
        1.    Beginning of Human Life
        2.    Role of Heredity and Environment
        3.    Prenatal Development
        4.    Social and Psychological Implication

    D.    Birth and the Newborn
        1.    Prenatal Care – Medical
        2.    Birth Setting
        3.    Labor and Birth
        4.    Evaluating the Newborn
        5.    General Characteristics of the Newborn
        6.    Maternal Adjustments
        7.    Effects of Birth on Father and Family
    E.    Cognitive Development of Children   
        1.    Early Views of intelligence
        2.    Current Views of Intellectual Development
        3.    Concepts of Learning
    F.    Cognitive Development in Infancy and Childhood
        1.    Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
            a.    Sensorimotor
            b.    Preoperational Period
        2.    Behaviorist Theory
        3.    Development of Memory
        4.    Language Development
        5.    Infant Stimulation   
    G.    Cognitive Development in the Pre-School Child
        1.    Preoperational Period
        2.    Importance of Play
        3.    Language Development
        4.    Transitions From home to School
        5.    Alternatives to Piaget
        6.    Moral Development
        7.    Children and the Arts
        8.    Effective Parenting
        9.    Parents as Teachers
    H.    Cognitive Development in School Age Child
        1.    Cognitive Changes – Concrete Operation Theory, Piget
        2.    Language Development
        3.    Moral Development
            a.    Piaget’s Theory
            b.    Kohlberg’s Theory
        4.    Creativity and the Arts
        5.    Measuring Cognitive Development
        6.    The Exceptional Child
        7.    Effective Parenting Misunderstanding How Children Learn
    I.    Social and Emotional Development
        1.    Effect of Parent Modality
        2.    Psychosocial Development
            a.    Freud’s Theory
            b.    Erikson’s Theory
        3.    Trauma and Frustration
        4.    Sex Role Development
        5.    Socialization – Discipline
        6.    Children in the Family
        7.    Effective Parenting:  Child Abuse
    J.    Social Emotional Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood
        1.    Emotional Development
            a.    Attachment (bonding)
            b.    Role of the Father
            c.    Infant-Parent Separation
            d.    Consequences of Insecure Attachment
        2.    Fear and Anxiety
            a.    Stranger Anxiety
            b.    Separation Anxiety
        3.    Anger
        4.    Discipline
        5.    Emotional Problems
        6.    Children in the Family System
        7.    Effective Parenting:  Day Care Dilemma
    K.    Social Emotional Development in School Age Child
        1.    The Family Socialization
        2.    Interactions with Peers
        3.    Interactions with Outside Family
        4.    Television and Young Viewers
        5.    Emotional Development
            a.    Fear
            b.    Anger and Aggression     
        6.    Assessing Developmental Process
        7.    Effective Parenting:  Divorce/One Parent Families
    L.    Social and Emotional Development of School Age Child   
        1.    Socialization
            a.    Family Interaction
            b.    Peer Relationships
            c.    School Experience
        2.    Television and the Older Viewer
        3.    Emotional Development
        4.    Effective Parenting:  The Hurried Child
    M.    Physical Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood
        1.    Physical Growth
        2.    Motor Development
        3.    Promoting Development
        4.    Sexual Development
        5.    Toward Effective Parenting:  Video Games/Use and Abuse of  Drug Abuse
    N.    Age Overview
        1.    Birth to 2 Months
        2.    2 Months to 18 Months
        3.    18 Months to 6 Years
        4.    6 Years to 12 Years
        5.    12 Years and Older

VII.  Methods of Instruction

There will be a combination of lectures, discussions, guest speakers, films and videos.  Class discussions will be supplemented by films, observations, interviews, and handouts.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

A.    Students are required to read the text.
B.    Students will be required to read from a selection of relevant handouts from professional and popular journals.
C.    Written Assignments

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Varies by instructor.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Quizzes, mid-term and final exams, written observation reports.

XI.   Other Course Information

The instructor will provide each class with further information as to attendance, policies, and support systems.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at