PSYC06010 2016 Applied Child Psychology (Infants and toddlers)

General Details

Full Title
Applied Child Psychology (Infants and toddlers)
Transcript Title
Child Psych (I &T)
N/A %
Subject Area
PSYC - Psychology Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Orla Walsh
Programme Membership
SG_HEARL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HEARL_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Educ

In this module the psychological changes that take place throughout childhood, with particular emphasis on early childhood (0-3 years), will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on the physical, social, emotional, linguistic and cognitive development of babies and toddlers. Theoretical perspectives in psychology and key ideas in relation to child development will be presented and discussed. As observation, recording and assessment of children's development and behaviour are considered invaluable professional skills, child observation methods will be introduced and explained in this module. Application of theory to practice is a central feature of the module with the overall aim being to produce competence in the learner's ability to apply the principles of developmental psychology when working with babies and toddlers.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Examine the contribution of significant psychological theories to our understanding of child development



Describe the  milestones of prenatal development, identify neonatal reflexes and discuss sensory perceptual capacities.


Explain the course of physical growth and describe the structure and development of the human brain


Discuss attachment theory, describe early social and emotional development, cognitive and language development.


Apply psychological knowledge to child development issues and recognise the contribution of ethical  child observation techniques in professional practice

Teaching and Learning Strategies

 One hour lecure to cover psychological theory and two hour tutorial to link theory to practice

Module Assessment Strategies

short answer questions (CA) 

Two hour  final examination

Repeat Assessments


Indicative Syllabus

Introduction and overview

Introduction to the module and overview of psychological perspectives and theories in child development including learning, cognitive, psychodynamic, biological and ecological.

The beginnings of life

Milestones of prenatal development, prenatal environmental influences, the neonate, reflexes, early learning, and sensory perceptual capacities.

Physical development (0-3 years)

Motor development and dynamic systems theory, the course of physical growth, basic sequences, and common patterns. Introduction to the structure of the human brain and brain development.

Cognitive and language development (0-3 years)

Theories of cognitive development including Piaget, Vygotsky and the information processing approach. The development of communication and language, pre-linguistic development and the sequence of language development. Theories of language development, including behaviourist, nativist and interactionist perspectives.

Personality and social development (0-3 years)

The function of emotions, development of emotional expression, emotional regulation, temperament, development of attachment, theories of attachment, types and development of attachment, child care and attachment, parenting styles, self-concept, self-esteem, socialisation, developing social skills.

Introduction to child observation

Observation and assessment: ethics and child observation, observation techniques, observation records, developing the skill of observation.

Applying psychological theory to practice

Applying psychological knowledge to support children's physical, social, emotional, linguistic and cognitive development.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 SAQ Continuous Assessment Assessment 40 % Week 30 2,3,4

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final examination Final Exam Closed Book Exam 60 % End of Term 1,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Tutorial ECCE Skills Laboratory Tutorial 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2007-12-12 From Birth to Five Years: Children's Developmental Progress Routledge
ISBN 9780415423656 ISBN-13 9780415423656

From Birth to Five Years, based on the pioneering work of Mary Sheridan, has become a classic guide to the developmental progress of pre-school children. It is widely recognised as an invaluable reference for professionals training or working in health, education and social care.

Features of this completely revised edition include:

  • Charts describing key stages in the development of motor, perception, communication, play, independence and social skills, updated in the light of recent research and supported by over 120 illustrations
  • Information on what we know about how children develop.
  • A new section on the development of attention and self-regulation
  • Guidelines for the assessment of children through observation and interaction
  • Advice on when to refer to specialist services

Guidance is offered on ages at which children typically achieve key stages, whilst recognising individual variation in the rate of development and the influence of the childs environment. Based on an ethos of health promotion and the need for a common assessment framework, the book will be welcomed by all those who work with infants and young children.

Dr Ajay Sharma is a Consultant Community Paediatrician in Southwark, London

Helen Cockerill is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist, working at the Evelina Childrens Hospital in London.

Recommended Reading
2013-03-22 Human Growth & Development: An Irish Perspective Gill & Macmillan Ltd
ISBN 071715629X ISBN-13 9780717156290

Updated edition of this popular book introducing human growth and development from conception to old age, with reference to an Irish context. * New to this edition: * Updated for the Human Growth and Development award (5N1279) * New chapter emphasises the application of knowledge to practical, work-based problems and scenarios * Greater prominence given to the older stage of lifespan development with reference to the Creating Excellence in Dementia Care report 2012 * Irish and international facts, research, cases and statistics are used to: * explain normal patterns of lifespan development; * introduce variations within the normal range; * highlight the factors that can affect development throughout the lifespan. * Examines the stages from infancy to old age within the framework of physical, cognitive and socio-emotional theories. Written For: NFQ Level 5 Human Growth and Developemnt component module, as part of: * Early Childhood Care & Education (5M2009) * Applied Social Studies (5M2181) * Community Care (5M2786) * Health Service Skills (5M3782) * Healthcare Support (5M4339) * Nursing Studies (5M4349) * Community Health Services (5M4468) Also suitable for: * CACHE courses in Childcare and Health and Social Care * Montessori courses and Returning to Education courses * Introduction to Psychology courses

Recommended Reading
2003-10-17 Introducing Child Psychology Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN 0631216286 ISBN-13 9780631216285

Introducing Child Psychology is for all those who want to find out what psychology can tell us about the nature and development of children.

  • A non-technical introduction for all those who want to find out what psychology can tell us about the nature and development of children.
  • Presents the major topics of child development investigated by psychologists.
  • Pays particular attention to the most recent research findings.
  • Consistently relates psychological knowledge to practical situations, showing what psychology has to offer in real life situations involving children.
  • Learning is supported by study boxes, summaries, definitions and suggestions for further reading.

Recommended Reading
2013-07-25 Child Development Theory & Practice, 2nd edition Trans-Atlantic Publications
ISBN 1292001011 ISBN-13 9781292001012

The second edition of Child Development: Theory and Practice 0-11 has been fully revised and updated while retaining the authoritative, accessible and well structured writing style that proved popular in the first edition. The text is infused with the authors' passion and enthusiasm for the subject and their anecdotes provide engaging real-life examples of child development in practice.

Module Resources

Other Resources

International Journal of early years Education

Journal of early Childhood Research Quarterly

An Leanbh Óg, the OMEP Ireland Journal of Early Childhood Studies