Metropolitan State University

PSYC 356 : Early Childhood Development within a Social/Cultural and Historical Context

A. Course Description
Credits: 4
Prerequisites: PSYC 308 Child Psychology


PSYC 308T Child Psychology Theory Seminar or equivalent with instructor's consent.  
Lab Hours/ Weeks: Corequisites: None
Lecture Hours/ Week :  
MnTC Goals: Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies , Goal 05 - Hist/Soc/Behav Sci , Goal 07 - Human Diversity
This course explores the social, cultural, and historical contexts which impact child development. Students learn how children have been perceived during historical periods as well as the roles that children play in a variety of cultures. Emphasis is on racism, classism, sexism, ethnocentrism, ableism and heterosexism. Strategies for reducing the negative impact on children's lives and promoting healthy development of children within the social-political context are explored. The roles of parents, family and the community are considered as they relate to current policies affecting the needs of young children.
B. Course Effective Dates: 08/24/2002 - 08/17/2018
C. Outline of Major Content Areas:
See Course Description for major content areas.
D. Learning Outcomes (General)
  1. Identify the historical, philosophical, and social foundations of early childhood education, including various legacies and impacts of racism in the United States, and how these influence current thought and practice.
  2. Describe various characteristics of racism including how racism is related to but also differs from prejudice, stereotyping, intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination.
  3. Understand individual differences in young children┬┐s physical, motor, cognitive, language, social, and emotional development and approach to learning based on the context of their family, race, culture, and society.
  4. Identify the relationships among culture, race, language and thought and the function of the home language in the development of the child.
  5. Demonstrate how to promote children's understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of human differences due to social, cultural, race, physical, or developmental factors.
  6. Demonstrate sensitivity to differences in family structures, race, and cultural backgrounds and respect families choices and goals for their children.
  7. Articulate various personal responses and responsibilities to address racism and how anti-racism is resistant to and works against thoughts and/or acts of racial superiority and discrimination.
  8. Identify the current issues, trends, and public policies affecting children, families, and programs for young children and the early childhood profession.
E. Learning Outcomes (MN Transfer Curriculum)
Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies
Goal 05 - Hist/Soc/Behav Sci
  1. Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  2. Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  3. Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
  4. Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
Goal 07 - Human Diversity
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  2. Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  3. Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  4. Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  5. Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.
G. Special Information
Racial Issues Graduation Requirement