Developmental and educational psychology (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Daniela Raccanello
Daniela Raccanello
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A, Sem. 1B

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

1) Know and understand the psychological theories that on the fundamental processes of functioning and adaptation of the individual to the environment;
2) Know and understand theories related to learning and training of individuals in the life cycle;
3) Apply the theories on the functioning of individuals, groups and organizations to the analysis of phenomena of learning in relation to personal and social changes;
4) Apply the knowledge of the psychological measurement tools of the individual's assessment to the assessment of the needs of learning, training and development of individuals in the life cycle of groups, organizations and communities.


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.

Teaching activities
The course will include frontal lessons, aiming at transmitting basic notions, integrated by cooperative learning, aiming at deepening the knowledge of specific aspects of the syllabus, in particular through the study of research papers. The content of the texts and the lessons is coherent with the syllabus. Further didactic materials are available from the teacher.
During the whole academic year, in addition, the teacher will receive the students individually, at the times indicates in the website (it is not necessary to arrange specific appointments) which are constantly updated.
During the first lesson, the teacher will present the whole calendar of the didactic activities with dates and topics of the lessons, specifying the time and the rooms.

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.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Boscolo, P. La fatica e il piacere di imparare. Psicologia della motivazione scolastica Torino: UTET 2012
Boniwell, I. La scienza della felicità. Introduzione alla psicologia positiva Bologna: Il Mulino 2015
Woolfolk, A. Psicologia dell’educazione. Teorie, metodi, strumenti Milano: Pearson 2020

Assessment methods and criteria

The aim of the exam is to verify the extent to which the expected learning results are achieved, in terms of knowledge and understanding abilities, both theoretical and applied.
The exam is formed by a written part and an optional oral part. Both of them cover the whole syllabus. For the written part, there are one open-ended question, 20 closed-ended questions, and 5 definitions. The duration of the written part is one hour. The oral part is optional, and it consists of an integrative interview requested by the student, after passing the written part.
The evaluation of the exam is expressed in thirties. For the written part, there will be maximum five points for the answer to the open-ended question, one point for each answer to the closed-ended questions, and maximum one point for each definition. For the oral part, there will be maximum three points.
The exam will be equal for those students who attend and those who do not attend the lessons.

Due to the current Coronavirus-related emergency, the above-mentioned description of the exam is modified as follows for summer 2020, according to the indications from the University of Verona: the exam is formed by an oral interview requesting definitions of constructs referred to the whole syllabus.