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Developmental Psychology I

Code: 102575 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2502443 Psychology FB 1 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Alicia Peralta Serrano

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

Other comments on languages

There will be readings in English


Esther Maria Secanilla Campo
Marta Padros Castells
Mario Figueroa González
Maria Carme Cirera Amores
Remedios Rubio Garcia


There is no prerequisite specifically established for this subject, but it is highly recommended to be simultaneously studying the other subjects that make up the first semester of the first course.
These subjects are: Foundations of Psychobiology I, History of Psychology, Personality and Individual Differences, Psychological Processes: Attention and Perception.


Objectives and Contextualisation

The Developmental Psychology programme provides a clear and simplified introduction to distinct interpretations of the changes and psychological transformations that occur in people during their life. The principal objective of the subject is to provide theoretical and practical knowledge about some of the main processes of human evolution: the ability to adapt to the environment from birth; the origin and development of communication and speech, and the intelligent forms with which individuals organise the world that surrounds them in order to understand it. Although the conceptual and methodological framing contemplates the distinct stages of human life, the study of evolutionary changes from conception to adolescence is taken as the privileged period of time to describe and explain the development and value the importance of education and intervention in these distinct stages.
In accordance with this approach, the training objectives of the subject are:
  • • To read, write and speak carefully about human development.
  • • To place theoretical voices in their context: historical coordinates, epistemological models, empirical productivity and applications.
  • • To define concepts and to describe the sequences of evolutionary change in the early stages of life.
  • • To know how to indicate and comment on scientific problems, which comprises the study of psychological development, and to have an understanding of the efforts of evolutionary researchers to overcome conceptual, methodological and socio-economic and political difficulties.
  • To have the ability to collect and interpret relevant data (usually within their study area) to make judgments that include a reflection on outstanding issues of a social, scientific or ethical nature. 
The theoretical and practical content of this subject will be continued in Developmental Psychology II, thus covering all stages of development.
In each of the subjects, we will work on a different technique to approach development. In Developmental Psychology this will be approached through observation and in the course of Developmental PsychologyII this will be done through drawing up and carrying out interviews.  


  • Actively listen to be able to obtain and synthesise relevant information and understand the content.
  • Distinguish and relate the different focuses and theoretical traditions that have contributed to the historical development of psychology as well as its influence on the production of knowledge and professional practice.
  • Evaluate, contrast and take decision on the choice of adequate methods and instruments for each situation and evaluation context.
  • Identify and describe the processes and stages in psychological development through the life cycle.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Work in a team.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Assess the relevance of the assessment methods of development in each of the stages of the life cycle.
  2. Contrast the notions of evolution, development and genesis.
  3. Contrasting biopsychosocial concepts and processes involved in the changes that are related to the growth, development and aging through research examples to everyday life.
  4. Describe the main characteristics of the theoretical focuses in the study of Evolutive Psychology.
  5. Identify concepts and evolutionary processes from systematic observations about the development of people in periods of life.
  6. Identify the stages of perceptual development and language acquisition.
  7. Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  8. Work in a team.


Descriptors: Theories and models of human development. Bases of human development. Psychomotor development. Cognitive development. Development of communication and language.
Programme, Thematic Blocks:
Block A. Introduction to the study of human development
- Historical perspective of the study of childhood 
- Development and genesis concepts
- The main theoretical schools in the study of development  
Block B. Psychobiological development
- Prenatal and neonatal development
- Perceptive development
- Psychomotor development and movement coordination
Block C. Development of communication and language
- Niche ecological-social early childhood
- Beginning communication
- Emergence of meaning in the child’s mind
- Theories explaining how we learn the language  
Block D. Cognitive development
- Theoretical perspectives on the development of cognition (Piaget)
- Theoretical perspectives on the development of cognition (Vygotsky)
Presentation and introduction to developmental psychology.
Current views on development according to a systemic perspective.


Classroom-learning situations are organised as follows:
• Large-scale conferences aimed at sensitizing and revealing the interest in topics of particular relevance to understanding ontogenetic development in the early stages of life.
• Presentation lectures aimed at presenting the basic contents of the programme.
• Clasrrom practices aimed at the preparation, sharing and discussion of learning evidences and at carrying out an observational project within a small group.
Obervational study of child development (aged between 8 months and 4 years old) and its context. This project has as its objectives: 
• To know, analyse and identify some of the evolutionary characteristics of children referring to their psychomotor development, communication and language and cognitive development.
• To be able to plan and carry out observation and analysis of information in accordance with the evolutionary characteristics of a child.
• To use observation as an information-search procedure.
• To use the oral presentation and the written report as information-communication procedures.
For this project, working teams of 5 students will be formed. First, individually, there will be a theoretical-practical report adapted to the child being observed. Next, each work team will carry out as self-directed learning activities 3 observations on the same child (aged between 8 months and 4 years old). The observations will be made on distinct days. Observations will be directed towards the following aspects: Psychomotor development, development of communication and language, and cognitive development. Observations will be video recorded, and each team will present one filmed observation in class. Finally, each workteam will submit a finalwritten report bringing together the analysis of each of the observations along with contributions made in class by the team as a whole.
N.B. The proposed teaching and assessment methodologies may experience some modifications as a result of the restrictions on face-to-face learning imposed by the health authorities. The teaching staff will use the Moodle classroom or the usual communication channel to specify whether the different directed and assessment activities are to be carried out on site or online, as instructed by the Faculty.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Classroom practices: Observational study of child 20 0.8 3, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1
Conferences 3 0.12 3, 2, 4, 6, 1
Exhibition sessions 28.5 1.14 3, 2, 4, 6, 7
Type: Supervised      
Planning observations, exhibitons and final written 11.5 0.46 3, 2, 4, 6, 8, 1
Type: Autonomous      
Bibliographic and other information sources 10 0.4 3, 2, 4, 6, 7, 1
Carrying out group work 11 0.44 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1
Carrying out individual work 11 0.44 3, 2, 4, 6, 7, 1
Empirical project: Child observation 20 0.8 3, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 1
Study 32 1.28 3, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1


Subject assessment includes taking 2 individual written tests; the individual preparation of the theoretical-practical information adapted to the child being observed; writing the report for the small-group project and its presentation.
The final grade for the subject will be obtained from the sum of the weighted scores awarded for the learning evidences submitted. The relative weight of each of the learning evidences obtained and the weeks in which these are carried out are specified below:
Evidence presentation classes:
• Evidence 1: Individual written test - Block A and B: 25%.
• Evidence 2: Individual written test - Block C and D: 25%
Evidence seminar classes:
• Evidence 3a: Theoretical-practical report adapted to the child being observed: 10%
• Evidence 3b: Oral group presentation of the observation project: 10%
• Evidence 4: Written report on the observation of a child (small-group project): 30%
• Students who have submitted less than 40% of the required assessment evidences will be considered "NOT AVALUABLE".
• PASS students will have presented all evidences and have obtained a final weighted grade of 5 or higher.
• To pass the subject, students must have obtained a total of at least 5 in the continuous assessment, with a minimum of 4 or more (on a 0-10 scale) for each of the evidences, all of which are compulsory. In case of not meeting these requirements, the maximum grade that can be obtained is 4.5.
• FAIL grade will be awarded students who obtain a final weighted grade of <5.
• Reassessment is available to those students who during continuous assessment have submitted evidences with a weight equal to or greater than 2/3 of the total grade and have obtained a grade of between 3.5 to 4.9.
• Re-assessment is final and will consist of an individual written test for Evidences 1 and 2. Re-assessment for Evidence 3 requires re-submitting the written report incorporating the suggested modifications and / or to repeat the oral presentation. Re-assessment for Evidence 4 requires re-submitting the written report incorporating the suggested modifications.
• The re-assessment grade obtained for each evidence replaces the grade previously obtained up to a limit of 5 (maximum) for each re-assessed evidence.
• The final grade will be recalculated following the same criteria as for continuous assessment.

No unique final synthesis test for students who enroll for the second time or more is anticipated.

Link to the assessment guidelines for all Faculty degrees (2020-21): https://www.uab.cat/web/estudiar/graus/graus/avaluacions-1345722525858.html

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Ev1 Individual written test - Block A and B (first assessment period) 25% 1.5 0.06 3, 2, 4, 6, 7, 1
Ev2 Individual written test - Block C and D (second assessment period) 25% 1.5 0.06 3, 2, 4, 6, 7, 1
Ev3a Theoretical-practical report adapted to the child being observed (Week 9) 10 % 0 0 3, 4, 6, 7
Ev3b Oral group presentation of the observation project (Week 19) 10 % 0 0 6, 7, 8, 1
Ev4 Written report on the observation of a child (small-group project) (week 20) 30% 0 0 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


Reference manuals 

Palacios, J., Marchesi, A. & Coll, C. (comp.) (2001). Desarrollo psicológico y educación. Psicología evolutiva. Madrid: Alianza Psicología.

Perinat, A. (2003). Psicología del desarrollo. Un enfoque sistémico. Barcelona: EDIUOC.


Basic bibliography

Berger, K. S. (2012) Psicología del Desarrollo: infancia y adolescencia. Madrid: Médica Panamericana.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1987). La ecologia del desarrollo humano. Barcelona: Paidós.

Bruner, J. (1986). El habla del niño. Barcelona: Paidós.

Delval, J. (1994). El desarrollo humano. Madrid: Siglo XXI.

García Madruga, J. A., Gutiérrez, F. & Carriedo, N. (2002). Psicología Evolutiva II. Desarrollo cognitivo y lingüístico (Vols. I y II). Madrid: UNED.

García Madruga, J. A. & Delval, J. (Eds.) (2019).  Psicología del Desarrollo I. 2ª Ed. Madrid: UNED

Gessell, A. (1988). El niño de 1 a 4 años. Barcelona: Paidós.

Gutiérrez Martínez, F. (2005). Teorías del desarrollo cognitivo. Madrid: McGraw Hill.

Hoffman, L., Paris, S. & Hall, E. (1995). Psicología del desarrollo hoy Vol. 1. Madrid: McGraw-Hill.

Marchesi A. Carretero M. & Palacios J. (1984). Psicología Evolutiva. I y II. Madrid: Alianza.

Piaget, J. (1952). The origins of intelligence in children (m: Cook. Trans.). New York: NY: Basic Books.

Silvestre, N. & Solé, R. M. (1993). Psicología evolutiva. Infancia, preadolescencia. Barcelona: Ceac.

Vasta, R., Haiti, M. M., & Miller, S. A. (2001). Psicología infantil. Barcelona: Ariel.

Vygotsky, Lev S. (1986) Thought and Language (Eugenia Hanfmann & Gertrude Vakar. Trans. Revised ed.) Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (Original work oublished 1934).


Complementary bibliography

Berger, K.S. & Thompson, R.A (2008). Psicología del desarrollo: Infancia y Adolescencia.7ª Edición. Madrid; Panamericana, 1997.

Bradley, B. S. (1992). Concepciones de la infancia. Madrid: Alianza. (Original en anglès, 1989).

Córdoba . A. I.; Descals, A. & Gil, M. D. (Coords.) (2006). Psicología del desarrollo en la edad escolar. Madrid: Pirámide.

Craig, G.J. & Baucun,  D. (2009) Desarrollo psicológico. México: Pearson Educción.

Donaldson, M. (1984). La mente de los niños. Madrid: Morata.

Flavell, J.H. (1993). El desarrollo cognitivo. Madrid: Visor.

García Madruga; J.A. &  Lacasa, P. (1992). Psicología evolutiva. Madrid: UNED.

García Madruga, J. A., Gutiérrez, F. &  Carriedo, N. (2002). Psicología Evolutiva II. Desarrollo cognitivo y lingüístico (Vols. I y II). Madrid: UNED. Gessell, A. (1988). El niño de 1 a 4 años. Barcelona: Paidós.

Gessell, A. (1988). El niño de 1 a 4 años. Barcelona: Paidós.

Palau, E. (2001). Aspectos basicos del desarrollo infantil. La etapa de 0 a 6 años. Barcelona: CEAC.

Peralta, A. (2002). La percepció dels mestres sobre les famílies procedents del Marroc i llurs relacions. Aproximació des d’un enfocament sistèmic i ecológic. En A C. Mir (Coord.).  Les portes de l’escola. L’ heterogeneïtat de les persones i les seves relacions.  pp 81-109.  Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Servei de Publicacions. Col.lecció Documents.

Pérez Pereira, M. (1995). Nuevas perspectivas en psicología del desarrollo. Un enfoque histórico crítico. Madrid: Alianza Editorial.

Perinat, A. (1986). La comunicación preverbal. Barcelona: Avesta

Perinat, A. (2002). La primera infancia. Barcelona: UOC.

Postman, N. (1990). La desaparició de la infantesa. Vic: Eumo. (Original en anglès, 1982). Rogoff, B. (1993): Aprendices del pensamiento.Paidós. Barcelona

Schaffer, H. R. (2000). Desarrollo social. Mexico: Siglo XXI. (Original en anglès, 1996).

Teberosky, A.; Rivero, M.; Ribera, N.; Peralta, A.; Rabassa, M. y Portilla, C. (2008). El discurso escolar: entre la oralidad y la escritura. Barcelona: Graó. ISBN:978-84-7827-526-7 DL: B-1.300-2008


Recommended articles

Alkire, S.(2002). Dimensions of Human development. World Development, 30 (2), 181-205.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1985). Contextos de crianza del niño. Problemas y prospectivas. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 29, 45.55. (Original en anglès, 1979).
Bruner, J. (1972). Nature and uses of immaturity. American Psychologist, 27 (8), 1-22. (Versió en español de Ileana Enesco, 1989).
Bruner, J. (1981). Vygotski: una perspectiva histórico-cultural. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 14, 3-17.


Others books and reference materials

You can find videos on the subject of practices in the resource room (ADRE) of the Faculty of Science of Education and in the Humanities library

At the beginning of the course, updated references will be published in Moodle, if applicable; In addition, the following will be provided:

Web links
Dossiers of readings and videos