Developmental and educational psychology (2020/2021)

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

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING 1. To know and understand the characteristics of the processes of development and learning in different psychological domains (motor-perceptual, cognitive, communicative-linguistic, emotional, relational-social), along the whole life course. 2. To know and understand the psychological theories on the processes of development and learning. 3. To know and understand the risk and promotion factors for the individual paths of development and learning. CAPACITA' DI APPLICARE CONOSCENZE E COMPRENSIONE 1. To take into account the behavior of individuals of a specific age within a specific context according to the acquired knowledge. 2. To apply the acquired knowledge in the process of assessment of the behavior of individuals and their interactions in educational contexts, both to identify risk indicators and to favor processes of social integration. 3. To take into account the relation between the characteristics of individuals of different ages (individual factors and competences) and characteristics of the context (family, social and cultural factors) to understand the individual differences in the processes of development and learning, and identify specific promotion factors.


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 winter 2021, according to the indications from the University of Verona. The exam is formed by closed-ended questions referred to the whole syllabus. The exam will be carried out online. After that the possibility to subscribe for the exam will be closed, I will send to the students an email with the indications on the exams. The date and hour of the oral exam will be communicated in the date determined for the exam.