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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[30/46]  PRIMARY TEACHER EDUCATION [46/00 - Ord. 2011]  PERCORSO COMUNE 8 60


The Developmental Psychology course will provide the future teachers with an overview of the developmental process through life, the main theoretical models, and the basic methodological approaches. The developmental milestones in the cognitive, affective, linguistic, socio-communicative and moral domains will be illustrated, with a particular focus on infancy and childhood. We will also consider risk and protective factors of school well-being. The course will provide practical tools to develop an effective educational practice and scientific studies in the classroom.

- Students will learn the main milestones of infant and child development in different domains (cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional) and their reciprocal relationships
- Students will learn how to identify risk and protective factors of well-being at school
- Students will understand how to apply the theoretical knowledge in the classroom, with a particular focus on the students with special needs
- Students will acquire the basic research methods in developmental psychology and understand how to apply these methods in the classroom
- Students will familiarize with the language used to disseminate the scientific findings in Developmental Psychology internationally.

This knowledge and understanding will allow students to:
- plan flexible and evidence-based educational programs, which will meet both the pupils need and the characteristics of the classroom, in collaboration with the colleagues, the parents, and the community;
- promote the pupils intrinsic and extrinsic motivation;
- evaluate the teaching and learning processes in the light of solid theoretical models and throughout effective evaluation tools;
- work in groups to develop, apply and evaluate an effective teaching practice at school.

- students will elaborate independent thoughts on the main developmental mechanisms involved in the teaching and learning processes;
- students will be able to identify the theoretical models that better describe the main developmental processes involved in teaching and learning processes;
- students will self-evaluate their own knowledge and skills in developing, applying and monitoring effective educational processes in the classroom.

At the end of the course, the students:
- will be able to communicate relevant information on developmental processes and make a school intervention applying to the scientific jargon of Developmental Psychology;
- will be able to report and provide objective evidence on the efficacy of possible teaching interventions at school.

Students will be able to collect, independently, any relevant sources of information for the future knowledge in the field during their lifespan.


It would be useful for the student if they could already be used to elaborate critically the strengths and the weakness of a model of human behavior. It is also important that the students would be able to bridge together the different contents of the program.


The course will address core open questions in Developmental Psychology and consider the most significant developmental milestones, in the light of the main classical and modern approaches. Developmental trajectories in different domains will be described, as well as the main research methods applied to study cognitive, affective, linguistic, socio-communicative and moral development. The role of contextual factors in human growth will be considered. The course will focus particularly on the risk and protective factors of school well-being.

Specifically, the course will target the following topics:
- Research methods in Developmental and Educational Psychology (10 hours)
- Affective Development (6 hours)
- Motor Development (2 hours)
- Perceptual Development (2 hours)
- Linguistic and Communicative Development (4 hours)
- Cognitive Development (8 hours)
- The Social Construtivist approach to Cognitive Development (4 hours)
- Cultural Psychology and education (4 ore)
- Behaviorism and learning (4 ore)
- Memory and attention (6 ore)
- Risk and protective factors for teaching and learning (5 ore)
- Communication in the classroom (5 ore)

Teaching Methods

Lectures will be enriched with debates, video clips and practical activities, aimed to engage students in the analysis of the main developmental processes.

Verification of learning

Assessment will consist of a final written exam lasting 2 hours. The exam will include 30 multiple choice questions (with three possible answers, only one correct) and three open questions. The multiple choice questions will account for 4/5 of the final grade (total grade=24) while the three open questions will account for 1/5 (total grade=6). The final grade will be the sum of the multiple-choice questions and the open questions. Students attending classes can choose to split the exam into two parts. In this case, they will undertake the first part of the exams at the beginning of April. Dr. Roberta Fadda will communicate the information about the first part of the exam during the course. The sub-exam will have the same structures as the previously described final exam. Students who will not attend classes though deciding to undertake the exam split into two parts should refer to Dr. Roberta Fadda via email (

Evaluation Criteria
Each multiple-choice question will be marked 0.8 point, if correct (a maximum of 24 points in total). Each open question will be marked 2 points (a maximum of 6 points in total). The open question will be evaluated by considering:
- the knowledge of the topics;
- the critical understanding of the topics;
- the ability to write in a correct and appropriate form;
- the ability to describe the topics clearly;
- the ability to synthesize and develop complex concepts.
The exam will have a minimum passing grade of 18/30, proving a basic knowledge and understanding of the discipline and the use of an adequate written language. The maximum grade of 30/30 will be awarded to an excellent knowledge and understanding of the discipline, described with an advanced written language. The Summa cum laude will be assigned to students showing outstanding performances.


Santrock, J. W., Psicologia dello Sviluppo, Milano, McGraw-Hill, 2008 (please, see only chapter 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 e 11).
DAmico, S., Piccardi, L. (2018). Psicologia per insegnare un percorso di formazione. Editore: Zanichelli (please, see only chapter 9 e 12).
Striano, T. (2016). Developing your ideas and immersing yourself in the culture of research. In T. Striano (Ed.), Doing Developmental Research a practical guide, New York: The Guilford Press.

More Information

Academic Year: 2018-2019.
Students will meet Dr. Roberta Fadda in her office, to discuss the course program and/or for any support in their learning process, by appointment agreed via email at the following e-mail address:
Further information about the course will be available at the following internet address:

Non-attending students are invited to contact Dr. Roberta Fadda for any questions about the course.

Students intending to take the exam with a different program should contact Dr. Roberta Fadda at least three months before the exam to agree upon the contents of the program.

The Ufficio Disabilità ( is available at the University of Cagliari. This office helps students to arrange a personalized program and/or a personalized assessment if needed.

Erasmus students should contact Dr. Roberta Fadda at least three months before the exam, to define a personalize program and the related textbooks.

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