||Theories of Human Development
Taught By Professor Malcolm W. Watson, Ph.D., University of Denver,
Have you ever wondered where the terms "terrible twos’’ and "identity
crisis" come from?
Did you know that the notion that children are different from adults, and
require special care, is only about 200 years old?
Did you know we can trace most of our modern ideas about children to just
two renowned thinkers of the 17th and 18th centuries?
These are just a few of the fascinating aspects of the field of "human
development": the science that studies how we learn and develop
psychologically, from birth to the end of life. To a large extent, the study
of human development is the study of child development, because the most
significant changes take place from infancy through adolescence. This very
young science not only enables us to understand children and help them
develop optimally, but also gives us profound insights into who we are as
In Theories of Human Development, Professor Malcolm W. Watson introduces you
to the six theories that have had perhaps the greatest influence on this
field. You will meet the people who formulated each theory, become familiar
with their philosophical backgrounds and the historical contexts in which
they worked, and study the specific processes of human development that each
Along the way, you will evaluate the strength and weaknesses of each theory.
How do these six great theories complement or contradict one another? What
do they tell us, as a whole, about human development?