Course Description

Key human development theories that continue to guide research and practice are examined in this engaging text.  Ten key theories are grouped into three categories – those that emphasize biological systems, environmental factors, and those that reflect an interaction between the two.  This organization enhances students’ ability to evaluate, compare, and contrast theories both within and across categories.  Each category is introduced with an overview of their unique perspectives and the rationale for grouping them together.  Discussion of each theory includes the cultural/historical context during the theory’s development, its key concepts and ideas, extensions of the theory in contemporary work, an example showing a modification of the theory, an application of how the theory is used to inform practice, and an analysis of how the theory answers six basic questions that a human development theory should address.  Each chapter includes an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the theories to facilitate comparisons.  Theories that have a clear life-span focus along with cases and examples that address issues across the life span are included.

Course Code: MAIE730

Credit hours: 3

Pre-Requisites: None

Learning Objectives:

A major objective of this course is to foster critical thinking and an active approach to learning.

  • The students will be able to understand what the basic human development is.
  • The students will be able to understand what a theory on human development is and what it means.
  • The students will be able to understand the impact of these theories on the development of the family, the school, and the community.
  • The students will be able to understand case studies that reflect real life situations and how these theories apply to them.
  • The students will be able to understand ten different theories on human development and how they have guided research, intervention, and practice in numerous fields such as developmental psychology, life-span development, education, medicine and nursing, social work, human services, counseling, parenting, therapy, and mental health.

Course Outline:

  1. Part I

Part I includes evolutionary theory, psychoanalytic theory, and cognitive developmental theory, which place a comparatively strong emphasis on biological factors that guide the direction of development.

  1. Part II

Part II includes learning theories, social role theory, and life course theory, which place a comparatively strong emphasis on environmental factors that guide the direction of development.

  1. Part III

Part III includes psychological theory, cognitive social-historical theory, bio-ecological theory, and dynamic systems theory, which emphasize the ongoing interaction of the person and the environment.

Main Textbook:

Theories on Human Development.  Second Edition.  2016 by Barbara M. Newman, PhD., and Philip R. Newman, PhD.

Grading and Evaluation:

  • Minimum passing grade 70%
  • Weekly Assignments: 30% (10 assignments, 3% each)
  • Attendance:  10%
  • Mid-Term exam:  20%
  • Final exam:  20%
  • Research paper:  20%

Guidelines for Research Paper:

 1- A part of the course requirements is to submit a research paper, except for certain courses.

 2- The chosen topic must be relevant to the course and approved by the Instructor.

 3- Joint project / research is allowed, up to 3 students, and upon the instructor’s approval.

 4- The paper must meet the following requirements:

  • Consider either MLA or APA guides for writing research papers
  • Follow the standard research paper structure with a Table of Contents, Abstract or Executive Summary, Introduction, Main Body, Conclusion, List of Reference
  • The Main Body should be organized into logical chapters and paragraphs
  • When quoting Hadeeth, a notation indicating its authenticity must be clearly

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Communication Etiquette:

  • If sending emails directly to the Instructor, please include appropriate label in the subject line (Action Required/Info/Admin) and allow up to 3 working days for reply.
  • Limit telephone communication with the Instructor to the office hours only.
  • When leaving a voicemail, please clearly state your name, course code, and contact number.

Additional Information:

Log in Instructions:

To attend live – online lectures (on their scheduled time):

Virtual Class Room

Access the course on-line by logging into Online School, accessible from

Guidance College Online School

You will need a user name and password to:

  • View the recorded lectures if you missed the live online ones.
  • Interact with your teacher and classmates.
  • Upload and submit your assignments, research papers, and exams.
  • View your grades.
  • All attempt must be made to submit assignments by the agreed due dates. Late submissions will be penalized.
  • Your work will be checked and graded on weekly basis, in sha Allah.

Vision Statement:

Guidance College shall be one of the top well-recognized universities in the United States that offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in specialized Islamic fields aiming at preparing moral and well-knowledgeable leaders who provide research-based Islamic alternatives that enable the Muslims to contribute to the success of their country.

Mission Statement:

Guidance College is the place where students gain their undergraduate degrees in authentic and professional specialized Islamic knowledge that recognizes modern-time realities and allows them to examine different branches of knowledge from an authentic Islamic perspective which enables them to think ethically, logically, analytically, and critically while making responsible and moral decisions aiming at improving the quality of life for all inhabitants of the earth with a full understanding and appreciation of the cultural and human differences.