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 Lifespan Psychology






Instructor                  Dr. J’Lene George

Office: Wells Hall 1011K                Email:

Phone: 682-6765                             Website:



Textbook                  Berk, L.E. (2008). Exploring Lifespan Development. Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education.


Office Hours           by appointment.


Course Description


An examination of the developmental changes occurring throughout the entire life span: conception to death.  Particularly emphasized are physical, emotional, cognitive, moral and social development, and application of theories and knowledge to real world applications. Various theories of development will be examined. Psychology 100 is a prerequisite. 


Course Objectives


·         Demonstrate understanding of development as an ongoing process involving continual change.

·         Demonstrate knowledge of developmental theories and terms.

·         Evaluate various research methods, research findings, and theories at an undergraduate college level.

·         Communicate sensitively on how gender, culture, socioeconomic status, and other contextual aspects affect development.

·         Recognize the sequence of development in major areas and the processes that underlie it.  

·         Apply course content to real life, including personal lives and current issues and policies relating to human development.


Course Evaluation


Points are assigned for in-class assignments, out-of-class assignments, exams and the final project. Grades will be determined based on your percentage of possible points using the following scale:


Evaluation Tool


% of Grade

Grade Determination


Final Project

Class Participation/


3 exams

1 group project









Test Avg. x .50 =

Final Project x .20 =

Assignments x .30 =


Final Grade


Your final grade will be converted into a letter grade using the scale published in the course syllabus:

            A = 94-100     A- = 90-93     

B+ = 87-89     B = 83-86       B- = 80-82     

            C+ = 77-79    C = 73-76       C- = 70-72    

D+ = 67-69    D = 63-66       D- = 60-62                 F = <59


It is impossible to receive an A in this course without attending regularly and participating.


Student Responsibilities


·    Each student is expected to study outside of class, and take an active role in lecture.

·    Exams will cover assigned reading, lecture and assignments.  Please be aware that I will not lecture on every piece of the text, but you are still responsible for knowing this material unless I tell you otherwise. Bonus points for exams are from lecture material (often material not covered in the textbook).

·    Regular attendance and appropriate participation is required.  Evidence of poor preparation, inappropriate behavior, frequent absences and tardiness, and missing participation opportunities will adversely affect your grade.  An A in participation is required to receive an A in the class.

·    Policy on late assignments: Late work will be accepted only at the discretion of the instructor and no more than once per quarter.  Without a documented excuse there will be a 10% penalty.  Late work must be clearly marked LATE and have due date, date submitted, and reason for being late clearly written on the assignment in order to receive credit.   

·    Revising up to two assignments for better scores is permitted.  Revisions are due no later than one week from when work was returned to the class (generally, even if you were absent and did not get yours back).  All revisions must be clearly labeled REWRITE, have the date submitted clearly written, and have all prior attempts attached.

·    Academic honesty:  Please review the policies of WVC regarding academic honesty in the WVC handbook.  Any issues involving academic dishonesty will be handled according to these policies/procedures. 

·    Assignments may be turned in as hard copies or uploaded to the correct drop box in ANGEL  by 5:00 p.m. on the due date.   No emailed assignments will be accepted.   Documents submitted to ANGEL must be in  rich text (.rtf), Word (.doc or .docx) or PDF formats.   Unreadable submissions will get no credit.   Your name and the assignment title must be in both the filename and in the paper itself.  

·    Cell phone use in class is distracting, unprofessional, and inconsiderate.   Anyone caught using one by either the instructor or a classmate will be required to bring candy to the class.   Persistent problems may also result in reduction of participation grade or the student being released from the classroom.   Use of a cell phone during any exam will result in a 0.  





Each person is expected to exhibit behavior that demonstrates respect for others and acknowledges the right of all students to an education.


Individuals who have a disability, either temporary or permanent, which might affect their ability to perform in this class, are encouraged to inform the college disability services coordinator (509.682.6854) at the start of the quarter.

Course Calendar









Course Overview & Introduction


Chapter 1



Biological Beginnings  & Prenatal Development

Film: Conception to Birth


Chapters 2 & 3





Exam 1 (chapters 1-6)


Chapters 4-6




Early Childhood



Chapters 7 & 8




Middle & Late Childhood


Chapter 9 & 10





Exam 2 take home(Chapters 7-12)


Chapter 11& 12




Early Adulthood

Chapters 13 & 14



Middle Adulthood


Chapter 15 &16




Late Adulthood

group projects

Chapters 17 and 18


Exam 3 (Chapters 13-18 and cumulative)



Exam Information


In the event a student is unable to participate on the day of an exam the following process will be followed. The exam must be completed within one week of the original examination date in order for the student to receive full credit. Furthermore, the instructor reserves the right to reduce or refuse credit for invalid reasons for missing an exam or failure to follow these procedures.  The student will be allowed to make up the missed exam as long as the following criteria are met. It is the student responsibility to:


1.       Notify the instructor in advance of the exam date by calling (509.682.6765) or emailing (

2.       Arrange a date and time in agreement with the instructor to make up the exam.


*One make-up exam will be allowed per quarter.