PSYCH 722 : Human Learning and Development


2023 Semester Two (1235) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Focuses on the processes and factors that influence human learning in infancy through childhood. Topics discussed may include: early social cognition, language development and the factors that influence school and life success. Consideration will be given to diverse contexts and populations.

Course Overview

This course will give students a deeper understanding of how developmental psychology research and theory has tried to help us understand the developing child. The course interrogates some of the assumptions and practices surrounding child development, examines the impact that the field has had on society over time and considers its continued relevance to current day issues and problems. The course is likely to be particularly relevant to those interested in working with children and young people across varied disciplines (e.g., research in applied settings and in policy related roles). Please note this course may differ slightly due to changes in lecturing staff and their different research interests. This course overview and the learning objectives and topics should be used as a guide as to the course content and what to expect.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand how people’s own stories and narratives about developmental issues are shaped by their context, including (but not limited to) culture, media and policy. (Capability 2, 5 and 6)
  2. Develop a more comprehensive and integrated view of development in early childhood that extends beyond traditional disciplinary or theoretical boundaries. (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  3. Understand how different views of human development have changed over time and their potential implications for policy and practice. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  4. Compare, contrast and critically evaluate different theoretical frameworks and research paradigms across various topics in the field of developmental psychology. (Capability 1 and 2)
  5. Lead and participate in engaging discussions that connect the course material to overarching debates in the field, practical issues in society and your own personal interests and aims. (Capability 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Develop the motivation and skillset necessary to become a self-directed learner, including the capacity to evaluate one's current knowledge and abilities critically, and identify solutions to overcoming problems/limitations, when relevant. (Capability 2, 3, 5 and 6)
  7. Apply the developmental ideas and concepts raised in this course to current day topics. (Capability 1, 2 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Participation 10% Group & Individual Coursework
Written Assignments 40% Individual Coursework
Presentation 15% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 35% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Written Assignments
Final Exam


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Key Topics

Topics may include: 
  • Theories of Social, Cognitive, and Language Development
  • Cooperation and Prosocial Behaviour Development in Infancy and Early Childhood
  • Social Cognition in Infancy and Early Childhood
  • Selective Social Learning and Children's Acquisition of Culture
  • Family Processes (e.g., family cohesion, parenting) 
  • Children's Development

Special Requirements

Students must give a presentation to the class and participate in discussions.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15-point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15-point course that they are enrolled in. For each week of this course, you can expect to spend 2 hours in lectures, an average of 5.5 hours engaging with course materials (e.g., completing assigned readings, taking notes, watching online lectures) and an average of 2.5 hours working on assignments or preparing for assessments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

  • Attendance is expected at scheduled activities, including seminars, to receive credit for components of the course.
  • Seminars  may be available as recordings. 
  • The course will not include live online events but online interactions will be available through group discussions.
  • Attendance on campus is required for the exam.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The required and suggested readings for this course include journal articles and book chapters. The resources are posted on the Talis reading list for this course. 

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Each year the course team evaluates the topics and content given current "hot topics" in developmental science research. The team will ensure the readings continue to be relevant to current issues in developmental psychology research and society.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 28/10/2022 11:28 a.m.