Topic: This paper should be written about one of the developmental theories covered in this course. The theory can be covered in class, or in the textbook(s) or both. Chose a different theory for each assessment (three total). After you complete the assessment (described below), you are to evaluate the individual based on the theory you have selected. Some theories are obviously more appropriate for some ages than others, so choose an appropriate theory. In addition to the evaluation, you should also discuss the usefulness of the theory for understanding the individual you have assessed. Finally, you should describe your own development according to the theory and comment on its utility for understanding your development.

Assessment: This is not a formal assessment, but rather a casual interview or play time with the individual you are “evaluating”. You should choose a developmental theory and familiarize yourself with it prior to the interview. Then you should formulate a list of questions, or tasks, which would give you information about this person that is relevant to the theory. For example, if you are assessing a 5 year old child you might choose Piaget’s theory of development. Since a child of this age is likely to be learning about conservation (according to Piaget) you might plan to make two balls of clay that are the same size and shape, and then change one and ask the child if they are still the same. With younger children, or a different theory, you might wish to interview the parents about the child’s level of development. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU RESPECT THE INDIVIDUAL WITH WHOM YOU ARE INTERACTING. Please talk to me about your choice of theory, and interview questions/plans prior to each interview.

Paper: Begin the paper with a detailed description of the developmental theory that you have selected. This description should be ~2 pages long. Then describe the individual that you interviewed, according to the theory. This description should conclude with a discussion of the usefulness of the theory as an aid to understanding this individual’s development. Continue your paper with an analysis of your own development, according to the theory, and include a discussion of the utility of the theory for understanding your development. End the paper with a concluding paragraph that sums up the major points in your paper.

The following criteria will be used to determine your paper grades:

Content, including the use of examples that support or challenge your statements and reveal a thorough understanding of the theories

Clear description of the theory you are using

Analysis of the individual’s level of development

Analysis of your own development

Discussion of the usefulness of the theory

Organization and writing style

Grammar, spelling, sentence structure and punctuation

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