Child Psychology

Study this in-depth course in child psychology, discover how infants and children develop (socially, cognitively, sexually, morally), how they acquire language, and different types of learning. Develop knowledge towards a career working with children.

Course Code: BPS104
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Develop a Career Working with Children

Children are fascinating to work with. At no other time in our lives do we change so much as we do during childhood. Those fortunate to work with children are able to witness these changes, and those with an understanding of child psychology are able to predict how children of different ages will behave as well as how their current behaviour and situation might influence their future development.

Why Study Child Psychology?

Child psychology is one of the cornerstones of psychology. An understanding of child psychology informs many other areas of investigation in the field of psychology. Knowledge of child psychology is therefore the perfect foundation for further studies in psychology, and is one of the best study choices if you want to pursue a career working with children.  

Study our Child Psychology course to find out the answers to questions such as "How do parenting styles influence childhood behaviour?", "At what age can I expect a child to speak?", "Why do children form attachments with their mothers?", "How much of a child's behaviour is due to genetics?", or "How do children learn?" 

This course will help you to think critically, to make observations of behaviour, and to analyse information in ways which will encourage you to approach your studies like a social scientist.

Students of counselling or psychology who include this course as part of their qualification will be better prepared to understand the significance of childhood influences on later adult behaviour.


 ACS Student feedback
: "It's very interesting. I am always fascinated by children's behaviour. Helps in my work and with my own children, to have a clear understanding of their nature/nurture. I made the right choice (in choosing) my course. The credit goes to ACS." Judy Augustine, Childcare Worker, Child Psychology course, Australia.

Lesson Structure

There are 12 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Child Psychology
    • Levels of development, nature or nurture, isolating hereditary characteristics, cause versus correlation, continuity versus discontinuity, cross sectional and longitudinal studies, reliability of verbal reports
  2. The Newborn Infant
    • The interactionist approach, range of reaction, niche picking, temperament, stimulus seeking, emotional disturbances during pregnancy
  3. States and Senses of the Infant
    • Sensory discrimination, infant states (sleep, inactivity, waking, crying, etc.), why psychologists are concerned with defining and describing infant states, habituation, soothing a distressed baby, sensory discrimination, depth perception, oral sensitivity
  4. Learning
    • Habituation, vicarious learning, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, reinforcement, the importance of learning control, etc.
  5. Emotions and Socialisation
    • Producing and recognising emotional expression, smiling, biological explanation, perceptual recognition, mother-child attachments, Freudian approach, Bowlby's approach, social learning approach, Harlow's approach, role of cognition in attachment formation, day care
  6. Cognitive Development
    • Developing the ability to reason
  7. Language Development
    • Is language ability learned or innate? Social learning approach, hypothesis testing approach, under-extending and over-extending
  8. Intelligence
    • Measuring intelligence, cultural bias, IQ, testing intelligence as a tool
  9. Socialisation ... Part A
    • Social cognition, self-awareness, awareness of others, development of empathy, taking turns, having a point of view/perspective, social scripts, pretend play
  10. Morality
    • Moral development, aggression and altruism, Freud, Piaget and Kohlberg on moral development
  11. Sexuality
    • Freud's psychosexual stages of development (oral phase, anal phase, phallic phase, latent phase, genital phase), gender and role identity, psychosocial development
  12. Socialisation ... Part B
    • Family influence, discipline, siblings, family structures, school influence, peer influence, acceptance and rejection, modelling, reinforcement.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Identify environmental and social aspects required for the ideal environment for a developing child.
  • Explain how genetic and environmental factors operate together in influencing the child's personality development.
  • Provide evidence that a particular personality characteristic may be genetically determined.
  • Explain how genetic and environmental factors operate together in influencing the child's personality development.
  • Identify the type of learning in which a stimulus which usually produces an unconditioned response is manipulated to produce a conditioned response, and give an example.
  • Discuss exactly how you would use operant conditioning to encourage a child to socialise.
  • Apply the perceptual recognition approach to explain smiling and fear in infants.
  • Evaluate how Freud’s, Harlow’s and Bowlby’s explanations of the formation of mother-child attachments differ.
  • Explain reflection-impulsivity and its significance in cognitive development.
  • Explain the strengths and weakness of social learning theory in explaining language acquisition.
  • Explain why you think that intelligence is or is not overall genetically determined.

About Child Psychology


Child psychology is a fascinating area of study. In fact, it has consistently ranked as one of the most popular subjects of enquiry at colleges and universities around the world for some time. This is perhaps because learning about children's behaviour can also help us to understand ourselves. After all, we were all children once.

Child psychology is concerned with how children grow and develop from infancy through to adolescence. Whilst some of these developments are associated with physiological changes, others are brought about by experiences and environmental influences. Although children are all unique, research has helped us to recognise mechanisms of development which influence all children.

In this course you will learn to examine and understand normal patterns of childhood growth and how they are applied to areas such as language development, learning, and cognitive development. You'll encounter the theories of some of the great thinkers who have worked in this field like Piaget, Freud and Bowlby.  Upon completion you will have a much broader understanding of why children of different ages behave the way they do, and how you might expect them to behave.  

For convenience, a distinction is often made between the cognitive, emotional and social aspects of behaviour. However, this distinction is simply to help us learn and understand. In reality, the different causes of behaviour interact with each other. When problems develop in any area of development they usually become rapidly evident in other areas as well. The study of child psychology is partly concerned with identifying such interrelationships.

Child psychology is not just something which appeals to psychologists but impacts in the daily work of a range of different professionals, as well as anyone who has children or who cares for them. Many people find themselves in situations where they would like to have a better understanding of the thoughts and behaviours of children so they can be of greater help to them. 

The area of child psychology is an evolving and multi-faceted one. 


Temperament - Nature or Nurture

The effect of 'nature' and/or 'nurture' on development is something which has been debated in the study of psychology for decades.

Most adults have witnessed the considerable differences in temperament between different new born babies. Some babies seem to cry or become irritable at the slightest provocation, causing many sleepless nights for parents. Others seem much more amiable, always smiling and hardly ever crying. Many mothers tell you that they have raised both types. Is this evidence of an inborn hereditary personality trait; or is it merely coincidence?
 
If such personality tendencies are stable - that is, they continue to exist throughout the child's development - then it is often assumed that the characteristic is hereditary. Investigations have found that 70 per cent of adults with behaviour disorders were described as difficult babies by their parents. This can be interpreted in two ways:
•    A difficult temperament is inborn and remains stable throughout life, eventually leading to behavioural problems (nature).
•    Difficult babies are treated differently by their parents, who perhaps elicit negative responses, which cause these to children have socially related difficulties later. The later behavioural disorders are a response to negative treatments which in turn resulted from the difficulty they caused as babies.

It has been found that mothers do not generally rear difficult babies very differently to others, but as children get older, parents do often respond more with negative behaviours such as shame, anxiety, or guilt, if these difficulties persist. The temperament of difficult babies has been found to be relatively easy to modify under appeasing parental care and conditions. Children’s temperaments moreover, were found to often change considerably during their early years. It can be concluded that while temperament may be genetically influenced, it is easily modified by environmental factors.

There has been evidence however that certain personality traits may be largely influenced by genetic factors. These are sociability, stimulus seeking and activity.

Benefits of Studying This Course

Through mastering child psychology you can learn how children develop psychologically as they mature from infancy through to adolescence, and what factors (such as learning, parenting styles, reinforcement and genetic makeup) influence their behaviour and thinking.

If you work with children you will gain valuable insights into child behaviour and be able to apply your knowledge to real-life situations. 

Career Pathways

Knowledge of child psychology is most relevant to careers in psychology, counselling and teaching. However, professionals in many other fields benefit from a deeper understanding of childhood development. 

The Child Psychology course is aimed at people working in, or aspiring to work in, the following fields: 

Youth work
Child and adolescent counselling
School counselling
Teaching, teacher aides & school employees
Child psychology
Social work
Child care
Children's services
Medical and health professions

The Child Psychology course can be used as a foundation towards further study and qualifications, or for personal development.

This course may also be a useful stepping stone for those who are considering becoming involved in working with children - whether as a first career or as a career change. Studying this course could give you the headstart you need, and fill you with the inspiration you desire to push on with your future plans.  

  
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Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

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Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

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How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

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We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

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We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
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Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Tracey Jones (Psychologist)

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE.
Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc.
25 years industry experience in writing,

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo

Jacinda Cole (Psychologist)

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist.
B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA
Jacinda has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psycholo





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Julia Mayo-Ramsay

Dr Julia Mayo-Ramsay is a practicing environmental and agricultural lawyer. She holds a PhD in International Environmental Law, LLM, BLJS, GDLP, LLM (Environmental Law) and a Master of Applied Science (Agriculture).
Julia started out in agriculture working on various dairy farms in the 1980s before working as dairy manager / tutor at Hawkesbury Agricultural College Richmond NSW. Julia then went on to work at Riverina Artificial Breeders at Tabletop (Albury) NSW as an embryo transfer technician assisting vets with artificial breeding and embryo transfer in cattle, sheep and deer. This was followed by two years as a herd manager for a very large commercial dairy herd milking 3,000 cows over three dairies on the outskirts of Sydney before heading overseas. In 1994 Julia accepted a position in NE Thailand at the Sakhon Nakhon Institute of Technology (now a University) training farmers and students in cattle breeding and dairy farm management. On returning to Australia in late 1996 Julia completed a Master of Applied Science in Agriculture at Hawkesbury Agricultural College (UWS) as well as law degrees and maritime studies. Julia now works as a Lawyer in the area of environmental and rural law.
Currently Julia teaches a variety of maritime subjects for Marine Rescue NSW.
As well as teaching Julia is working on a number of environmental research projects.

Davi Ponce

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Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

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