LSLC 3113 – Lifespan Development
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus noted the only constant in life is change, and two thousand years later his statement still holds true. As medicine and technology advance so does our understanding of the holistic approach needed when studying the human lifespan. Traditionally, students would focus on one stage of life, such as pediatrics or geriatrics. While this is a good approach for specialization, it treats a person’s existence as separate stages and not the intertwined experience it truly is.
Lifespan Development focuses on human development from birth to death, drawing from multiple disciplines including biology, psychology, sociology, and medicine. These different approaches all emphasize empirically-derived information about human development and are designed to provide practical knowledge for students working directly with others, often in a service capacity.
“The study of human development has traditionally focused only on the extensive changes that occur from birth to adolescence. But a great deal of change does occur in the five or six decades after adolescence,” said Lifespan Development subject matter expert Rita Parker. “Development is lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, and multidisciplinary. In this course we study the pattern of movement or change that begins at conception and continues throughout the human life span.”
All stages of a typical lifespan are surveyed in this course with particular attention devoted to the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development, as well as the environmental influences during the different stages. For example, a newborn’s experience is considerably different than an adult’s experience, but neither are independent of each other. Having an improved understanding of another person’s needs based on their point in life is a win-win for both the caregivers and patients, and can ultimately make caregiving and service roles better for everyone involved.