Developmental and educational psychology (2016/2017)

Course not running

Course code
Name of lecturer
Daniela Raccanello
Daniela Raccanello
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IIA, Sem. IIB

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The course is focused on learning processes, referring to the main theoretical frameworks and to some basic issues related to developmental psychology during the whole life course and educational psychology, and also to the main methods.
In particular, expected learning results are:
1) Knowledge and understanding of basic developmental processes, related to cognitive, social and emotional domain.
2) Knowledge and understanding of psychological processes characterizing learning processes, focused on cognitive, metacognitive, motivational and emotional aspects, with a particular attention to the main theoretical approaches from the literature.
3) Ability to identify, in different contexts, the psychological processes that promote achievement and wellbeing.


The syllabus is divided into two parts:
(A) Developmental and educational psychology.
Educational psychology. Cognitive development. Self, social, and moral development. Differences in learning. Development of language and linguistic diversity. Culture and diversity. Behavioural theories of learning. Cognitive perspective on learning. Complex cognitive processes. Learning sciences and constructivism. The sociocognitive theory. Learning and motivation.
(B) Motivation and emotions in learning contexts.
Research on school motivation: history and basic concepts. The meanings of learning: achievement goals. Being well at school: social goals. The individual between the need for autonomy and external regulation: the autodetermination theory. Interest. Emotions at school. Sense of self and identity. The sense of self: self-efficacy and self-regulation. Building motivation.
What positive psychology is. Emotions. Optimism and hope. Flow. Happiness and subjective wellbeing. Eudemonic wellbeing. Values, motivation and aims in life. The time in life. Complexity and challenges in life. The freedom to choose. Strengths. Love. Interventions in positive psychology. Practical applications. The future of positive psychology.

Texts for the exam:
Boniwell, I. (2015). La scienza della felicità. Introduzione alla psicologia positiva. Bologna: Il Mulino.
Boscolo, P. (2012). La fatica e il piacere di imparare. Psicologia della motivazione scolastica. Torino: UTET.
Woolfolk, A. (2016). Psicologia dell’educazione. Teorie, metodi, strumenti. Milano: Pearson.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written exam with one open-ended question, 20 multiple-choice questions and 5 definitions (duration: one hour), eventually associated with an oral exam (requested by the students and/or by the teacher).