Each student will be asked to create and explain their own discontinuous (stage) theory of lifespan development. Each theory must have at least 5 stages that are distinct, separate milestones of development. The student’s theory can cover broad concepts of development or focus on one topic/area of development across the lifespan. In a Word document (uploaded to D2L), students are asked to outline their theory addressing each of the following:
1. What is the overall topic/concept of your developmental theory? For example, Freud’s theory addressed psychosexual development, Kohlberg addressed moral development. What does your theory address?
2. Who does your theory apply to? Is it to everyone, or to a specific group of people, specific culture, gender, ethnicity, geographic location, etc.?
3. What are the specific stages of your theory? What are the age ranges and the unique milestones a person will meet within each stage? Remember, stage theories argue that each stage is distinct from all of the others. What makes each of your stages distinct?
4. How will a person meet each milestone? For example, according to Erikson, people face psychosocial conflicts they have to address, but Piaget said development naturally occurred and nothing ‘needed to be done.’ What does your theory propose?
Reflections must be in paragraph format, double-spaced, and at least 200 words. Students are not required to have outside references, but if they use outside sources, they must correctly cite and reference them. Reflections can be written in first-person, but they are expected to be formal written assignments. Points will be deducted for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, disorganized or informal writing, structure, and flow. Links to the AU Writing Center are provided in the D2L- Important Class Information content folder for student access.
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