Introduction to Human Growth and Development

This course focuses on human growth and development over the lifespan, as well as careers that help people deal with various physical, intellectual, and socioemotional issues, such as physicians, nurses, nutritionists, substance abuse counselors, clergy, teachers, career counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists.

This course is important because it gives the student a background in human growth and development from before birth, through childhood, into adulthood, and through death and grief. It gives the student perspective and highlights where people in the caring professions are most needed.

Students who take this course will come away with a broad understanding of all the careers that help people from birth to death. They will understand how people in the helping professions interact with each other and how continued growth in this sector can give them flexibility, good pay, and high job satisfaction.


  • Compare and contrast careers that provide care and counseling for people throughout the life span.
  • Evaluate the importance of a stable, loving family structure on socioemotional development.
  • Assess the importance of proper prenatal care on the developing fetus.
  • Examine the roles and responsibilities of parents, teachers, and health care professionals in generating positive outcomes regarding children.
  • Understand the different developmental tasks humans have during each stage of life and that we never stop learning and growing.
  • Examine their personal interests and inabilities in relation to choosing an appropriate career.
  • Summarize the value of education in achieving their life goals.

Students will have to conduct research into areas such as obedience versus conformity; single-sex versus same-sex schools; the perspectives of the psychologists Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, Sigmund Freud, Lev Vygotsky, and Lawrence Kohlberg; and career assessments. Some of the tasks in the chapter projects ask for answers that can be found in the lessons themselves, while others require research using the Internet. Students should have access to a computer with Internet and a good working knowledge of how to find information on the web. While sample URLs are usually presented as a starting point, the student should have a basic knowledge of using search engines to find specific information.

State: National, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: Human Services
Course Length: Semester