Child Development and Learning

Understanding developing children in school contexts. 

The introductory course in Child Development and Learning is designed to provide future education professionals with a human development perspective about children’s development and learning in the educational context in India. The human development perspective positions psychology as a primary discipline, with sociological, anthropological and neuro-scientific lenses contributing substantially to develop a holistic understanding about children and their development in specific social and cultural contexts. The course aims to provide critical perspectives on the domains of development, their interlinkages and implication for educational settings. This understanding is essential for education professionals to engage with diverse learners in a meaningful manner, in classrooms as well as in other aspects of education practice and action.

The course introduces students to an understanding of children in the diverse socio-cultural-economic contexts of India, providing appropriate illustrations and frameworks for students to understand the multiplicity of childhoods. A significant part of the course deals with children’s learning and development of cognitive capabilities. Theories that provide insights into how children construct knowledge, and how their capabilities for reasoning, conceptual development, and language enable them to acquire age appropriate learning capabilities, is part of the course curriculum. The course also engages with significant aspects of children’s psychosocial and emotional development to help them understand the factors that influence children’s well-being and learning in school at different stages of development.

Concepts relevant to children’s sense of self, gender, and emotions in the classroom are discussed along with motivation, morality and identity during adolescence, as well as aspects of classroom environment/​practices and relationship of students with teachers and peers. The course emphasises interconnections between children’s development in different domains, its impact on their learning, and its implications for curriculum planning and instruction in school settings.