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Developmental and Educational Psychology



Developmental and educational psychology studies the processes of development, maturing and learning during childhood and adolescence (from pre-natal to approximately 21 years).


  • Theoretical principles of developmental psychology

  • Nature vs. nurture

  • Prenatal development

  • Motor skills development

  • Physical development

  • Language development

  • Cognitive development and intelligence

  • Social-emotional and moral development

  • The relationship between development and learning, knowledge acquisition and motivation.

Course objectives

  • Students will acquire knowledge about and understanding of the basic concepts, theories and research in the area of developmental and educational psychology.

  • Students will acquire knowledge about and understanding of the various areas of child development such as social, emotional, cognitive and language development.

  • Students will learn to read and interpret scientific articles, and to demonstrate their knowledge by means of writing short essays and participating in discussions.


Developmental and Educational Psychology (2013-2014):



First-year students will automatically be registered for the course.


Students will not be automatically enrolled for an examination — they can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date. Students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.

Mode of instruction

Sixteen lectures and four work group sessions. In the lectures the instructors will present the main concepts and research results from developmental and educational psychology per area of development, in order for students to have an understanding of this. Prior to the workgroup meetings, students will study additional reading material (scientific articles). Students will hand in an essay concerning the additional literature prior to each workgroup meeting, and will provide feedback on the essays of fellow students. During the work group sessions, students will discuss the additional reading material and their essays. This will provide an opportunity for students to learn hoe to read and interpret a scientific article, and how to provide constructive feedback on other people’s work.


The examination measures to what extent students have acquired knowledge concerning different areas of child development and of the concepts and theories that go hand in hand with this. The examination will consist of multiple-choice questions on the course literature (textbooks and additional reading material for the work group sessions) and the lecture material. The examination grade will determine 70% of the course grade.

The fourth essay that students hand in for the work group session will be graded. This grade reflects the extent to which students are able to understand and put into words scientific literature in the field of developmental and educational psychology. The grade for the work group sessions is a percentage of the grade awarded for the fourth essay. This percentage is determined by attendance and participation during the work group sessions on the one hand, and (timely) handing in and providing feedback on previous essays on the other hand. The grade for work group sessions will determine 30% of the course grade.

Compensation of partial grades: A partial grade must be at least 5.0 to be compensated by the higher second grade.

The final grade is rounded to whole and half numbers, except for the 5.50.
For the final grade to be a 5.00 or a 6.00, rounding off rules are:
≥ 4.75 and


Information on the course can be found on Blackboard.


  • R. Siegler, J. DeLoache, N. Eisenberg (2010). How Children Develop 3rd edition. New York: Worth Publishers.

  • A book compiled by M.V.J. Veenman: Educational Psychology. Pearson Custom Publishing.

  • Scientific articles (provided on Blackboard) for the work group sessions

  • Information on Blackboard (for instance lecture slides) is also part of the material to be studied for the examination.

If you are a member of the study association Labyrint you may purchase books at a reduced price via their study book service. Alternatively there are the academic book shops.