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Tufts OpenCourseware
Understanding human development through the lifespan. (Image source: Number 0054, Health Canada.)
Highlights of this Course

The study of Growth and Development can help us to know a person more thoroughly and thereby be better doctors than were we to meet our patients without such informational prompting. One can follow various developmental "tracks" longitudinally from birth to death, for example, following the development of motor, language or cognitive capacities and skills from the beginning of life to its end. Alternatively, one can study the individual at various cross-sectional stages/ages of life. Examples of this are seen in the lectures on Adolescence or Late Life. The longitudinal tracks and cross-sectional stages complement one another in our efforts to learn more about patients. Knowing more about Growth and Development will help you to generate questions when talking to or hearing about a patient that will deepen your knowledge about them, questions that otherwise might not have occurred to you.

Course Description

In the Human Growth and Development course, students will:

  • learn that there are diseases, conditions and disabilities that relate directly to the disruption of the development of physical or mental processes. 
  • learn that learning about Growth and Development also provides a framework for understanding in greater depth who a patient is as a person. 
  • gain knowledge of  the normal "landscape" that can guide our exploration in clinical encounters.  It can also help us to understand precipitants to disease and disability. 
  • learn to know a person more thoroughly and thereby be better doctors than were they to meet patients without such informational prompting. 
We will  study the subject matter in two ways:  by following various developmental "tracks" longitudinally from birth to death and by studying the individual at various cross-sectional stages/ages of life.

Please note that the course as presented here does not contain the full content of the course as taught at Tufts. The included content is based on material the Tufts faculty and instructors choose to include, as well as factors such as content preparation, software compatibility, and intellectual property and copyright restrictions.
Course Faculty
Jonathan Schindelheim
David Adler
Elaine Alpert
Carolyn D'Ambrosio
Kathleen Faulkner
Adam J. Geyer
Anne Hurley
John Petrozza
Robert M. Reece
Veronica Reed Ryback
Stanley Sagov
Leher Singh
Paul Summergrad
Bessel van der Kolk
Sumer Verma
Ludwig von Hahn
Course Length
38 Hours
1st year