Curriculum Guideline

Change and Development Lifespan

Effective Date:
Course Code
CFCS 1130
Change and Development Lifespan
Child, Family & Community Studies
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours/semester
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture
  • Student Presentations
  • Group Work
  • Audio Visual Presentations
  • Other, i.e. online activities
Course Description
This introductory course explores how human development changes across the lifespan. Drawing on major developmental theories and the lived experience, students will investigate human development in the context of biological, physical, emotional, cognitive, contextual and cultural influences. Emphasis will be placed on major transitions from fetal development to death. The impact of ethnicity, psycho-social and cultural factors will be examined.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  1. The study of development encompasses the physical, psychosocial, biosocial and cognitive domains within the lifespan perspective.
  2. A bio-ecological approach to development provides a comprehensive and inclusive lens from which to understand the complexity of the human journey.
  3. Respect for diversity begins with understanding, accepting and celebrating differences in individuals as well as their life trajectories and cultures.
  4. Neuroplasticity allows for change across the entirety of the lifespan.
  5. Multiple disciplines inform our understanding of human development and emphasize the evolving nature of knowledge about people living their lives.
  6. Understanding and reflecting on one's own lived experience provides a fruitful path to understanding the lives of others. 
  7. Understanding and reflecting on our cultural diversity allows us to examine differences through an intersectional approach
  8. Understanding the contributions research make when investigating lifespan development


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1.  Describe major milestones in the development of the individual, including

  • Biosocial development from conception to death
  • Physical development from conception to death
  • Cognitive development from birth to death
  • Psychosocial development across the lifespan
  • Neurobiological development

2.   Describe concepts from the major theories of human development

  • Identify the similarities and differences of these concepts in how they view individual development
  • Apply developmental theories to research findings and current social policies and practice
  • Critically analyze the strengths and limitations of these theories from an ethical stance while working with people
  • Critically analyze the development of these theories in relation to larger issues in society such as ethnicity, gender, contextual and cultural factors

3.  Critically explore how Lifespan development theory may be applied to

  • Personal development
  • Development of another individual
  • Ecological and systemic development of families, groups and communities

4. Describe how diversity impacts all realms of development

  • Identify personal biases in considering the development of diverse populations
  • Explore the practice implications of adopting an inclusive stance

5. Describe the impacts of trauma and other risk factors on development across the lifespan

  • Critically analyze the impact of poverty, abuse, discrimination and other forms of trauma
  • Identify the role of neuroplasticity in response to traumatic events across the lifespan
  • Explore the relationship between factors of risk and resiliency

6.  Describe various research methods used in lifespan development such as

  • Research methodology
  • Data collection methods
  • Surveys, interviews, case studies
  • Experimental methodology



Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations, and in accordance with CFCS Grading Standards and Douglas College Policy. 

  • Written assignments
  • Group presentations
  • Self-assessment
  • Testing
  • Participation in classroom activities
Textbook Materials








Which Prerequisite