PSYCHOLOGY OF TYPICAL AND ATYPICAL DEVELOPMENT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
1. Knowledge and understanding. Students should achieve a good knowledge of the latest theories of typical and atypical development in the context of cognition.
2. Applying knowledge and understanding. Students should be able to use the theoretical knowledge acquired.
3. Making judgments. Students will develop critical thinking and reflection on methodological issues and the relationship between the specific theoretical positions and the recent empirical results.
4. Communication skills. Students should acquire the ability to critically discuss the typical and atypical development.
5. Learning ability. Students should be able to learn the most recent theoretical approaches and the main techniques of investigation of the psychology of cognitive development.
Course contents summary
The course aims at making students a full knowledge of current approaches, with which developmental psychology to explain the causes of typical and atypical cognitive development. Students will master the key concepts arising from empirical research and the most recent studies on the ontogeny of knowledge and its domains.
Methodological problems and research techniques in the study of cognitive development and neuropsychology of development. The development of the nervous system. The plasticity of the brain. The neural basis of cognitive development. The domains of knowledge. Attention, memory and executive functions. Categorization: general theories for the domain. Numbers and math. Social cognition and theory of mind. Evolutionary conditions characterized by a more or less severe impairment: learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, mental retardation, autism. Cognitive models of autism. Preterm birth and development. Assessment and rehabilitation in children.
Surian, L. (2009). Lo sviluppo cognitivo. Roma-Bari: Laterza. (pp.136)
Vicari, S., Caselli, M.C. (Eds.) (2010). Neuropsicologia dello sviluppo. Bologna: il Mulino. (pp. 5-65 e 135-323).
At lesson topics are treated in their general aspects and in an order that does not necessarily reflect that of the chapters of the books. Classroom space also will be given to: a) investigation and clarification at the request of students, b) screening and discussion of audiovisual c) reading and critical commentary articles, d) simulation of assessment tests.
Assessment methods and criteria
In addition to in-course tests, the examination includes:
• a written test with 5 open questions in the textbooks (the final vote / 30 is the sum of the marks obtained in the individual questions);
• an oral test to be accessed after passing the written test.
The oral test is obligatory for those who take to writing a score from 18 to 22, optional for those who take from 23 up. For attending (it is those who perform at least 2/3 of-course tests) the oral is always optional.