Teaching Students to Think Culturally About Developmental Psychology

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Learn how human development varies by culture from Clark University’s Lene Arnett Jensen, Senior Research Scientist, and Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Senior Research Scholar. Teach students to focus on cultural influence.

Lene Arnett Jensen, Senior Research Scientist, Clark University
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, Senior Research Scholar, Clark University

Human cultures are marvelously diverse, and human development from infancy through late adulthood varies vastly according to cultural context. Thus far in psychology’s history, the focus of most research and theory on development psychology has been on a relatively narrow band of human cultural experience: Western, especially American. However, in recent decades, developmental psychology has expanded to include a greater proportion of the world’s people. Also, the United States and other Western countries have become more culturally diverse, due to migration and immigration, sparking increased interest in the relations between psychological development and cultural context. The focus of this presentation will be on ways to encourage students to think culturally about development, within and across countries. The presentation is intended to be relevant to both novice and experienced teachers who wish to learn more about how to teach effectively about the cultural contexts of development.