This course provides knowledge and understanding, and its application to practice issues of human development and social functioning at the individual, small group, and community/organizational/societal levels through an inter-disciplinary team. Through the use of both developmental theory and research findings, students explore the complex interrelatedness of individuals and the various systems that comprise their social environment. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding how human diversity, such as race, ethnicity, culture, gender, and socioeconomic factors contribute to and influence personal development and the social functioning of individuals and family systems across life span. Implications for social work practice, and especially for relationship building, are drawn from the process.
This course introduces students to:
1. explain both the traditional and alternative theoretical perspectives and empirical foundations used to understand human development and behaviour;
2. identify the biological, psychological, and social systems that influence development for each age group;
3. describe normal developmental tasks and milestones for each age group;
4. understand and describe the interaction between the predisposition’s of the individual and the constraints and/or support of the social environment as an essential element in the human development process;
5. discuss, as appropriate, the differential effects of class, ethnicity, gender, culture, and sexual orientation in the human development process, particularly as it influences our understanding of the both traditional and alternative theoretical perspectives for social work practice.