A Chart Summarizing Human Development

(Go back to Course assignments, or to home page, or to Human development.)
The Seiferts, 1958
The Seiferts, 1949

Here is an assignment that helps students summarize and integrate what they learn about human development. I used it for a relatively short unit on development contained within a longer course about ed psych, but with appropriate adjustments in scale, it can also be used for a longer unit or even for a course that is entirely about child development.

1. Construct a large chart that could be displayed on a classroom wall and read from a distance of about 4-5 feet. Print size should therefore be about one inch high, which is between 20-point and 24-point font on most computers.
2. Format the chart like this:
Age Period



Middle Years


1. Fill each cell with information from the text or other authoritative sources. Each cell should have a brief description of typical characteristics or landmarks of development for a particular domain and age period.
2. Incorporate information from the ideas of as many of the major psychological theorists as is appropriate—e.g. Piaget, Vygotsky, Erikson, Selman, Kohlberg, and others where appropriate. Note: if there is too much information for a particular cell, you will have to limit that cell to only the most important ideas or theorist(s).
3. Wherever possible, emphasize the relevance of the developmental period to students' teaching and learning.
4. The description in each cell or box will not exceed 100 words. Point form or listing simple phrases is OK as long as the meaning is clear.
5. The source(s) of information for each box will be cited, using a brief citation style that I will explain in class and provide you with.
6. The chart will be evaluated for accuracy, clarity, completeness, consistency, and relevance to teaching and learning.
- Seifert Seifert Apr 30, 2009