Developmental Psychology Classroom Activities
Graduate level developmental psychology classes are taught at both the masters and doctoral levels of education. People who specialize in developmental psychology often go on to work in educational settings as school psychologists or counselors. Students enrolled in developmental psychology courses study reasons and factors behind the developmental growth of humans.
1 Balloon Pop Magic Trick
The balloon pop magic trick tests reaction time and shows how overstimulation can slow reaction. This activity is meant to lead into a discussion about how infants who cannot communicate verbally can show conceptual development, thus enabling adults to understand what they are thinking.
Begin by blowing up six balloons. Pop the first balloon and discuss the students' reactions. Continue popping the balloons and discuss conceptual development as the reaction begins to subside.
2 Parenting Styles
Read the Baumrind article on parenting styles. Have your students discuss the three different types of parenting styles and have them present a play that represents each parenting style. Discuss the traits of the children from each of these parenting styles and why it is that authoritative parenting works where authoritarian and permissive parenting do not.
3 Men are From Mars
Ask the class if they think that men really are from Mars and women are from Venus. Discuss what the statistics say, which is that there are differences between men and women in both their gender abilities and their sexuality. Show examples, including the average heights of men and women, the sexual desires of men and women and the learning rates of adolescents of both genders.
4 Connecting to the Big Picture
Hand out a paper that discusses the essential questions and theories of developmental psychology. These bigger questions all relate in some way to the smaller questions that will be asked that help to break down the psychology of children. Some of these questions include nature vs. nurture, passive child vs. active child and social context.