Let’s talk about the topic of Developmental Psychology. The lectures on the programme look at the theoretical and empirical evidence for the psychological development of children from about the age of 3 through to the end of adolescence, and sometimes makes comparisons to adults.
We studied evidence looking at cognitive development of kids, such as when their memory starts to develop, their ability to use future thinking - imagining and planning the future, a concept that actually requires a unique set of cognitive skills and arguably is one aspect that makes us human, although it has been observed in other animals. We were also taught about theories of moral development - establishing the ages at which children start to understand and obey rules and codes of conduct, and beyond that when they start to challenge the rules and develop their own moral compass, and looking at whether the evidence supports the theories. We studied theories of aggression - what leads to children developing aggressive behaviour, such as the impact of peers, parents and their temperament. Further, we look at the role of play and development of the self and understanding of others. There are unique challenges such as how to observe and measure these abstract concepts in children and how to be sure you are capturing what you think you are capturing. Can you design and experiment that allows a young child to express their self without using complex language? Also, how can we be sure that we are measuring something abstract like future thinking, or moral or development of the self?
Developmental psychology is a great topic to study to further you understanding of how psychologists can combine and apply theories and evidence from other areas of psychology such as memory and elements of moral and social psychology. Certainly if you are interested in become a Child or Educational Psychologist, understanding the minds of children will be essential. After you finish the conversion course there are masters and PhD courses to become an Educational Psychologist.