Human Development in Context

The Human Development in Context (HDC) program examines how people throughout the lifespan develop in, are influenced by, and shape the social settings they encounter (e.g., families, communities, educational institutions, and the workplace). HDC courses focus on theories of individual and family development; the local and global dynamics of learning; and cognition, social relations, and policy.  This interdisciplinary program draws from current and actionable theory, research, and practice from areas as diverse as psychology, sociology, intercultural studies, gender studies, economics, and policy science.

HDC 305-0 Identity and Motivation (1 Unit)   Examines the connection between conceptions of the self and goal-oriented motivation, with particular attention to the influence of social, structural, and cultural forces.

HDC 307-0 Emotional Mysteries (1 Unit)   Classrooms, work settings, and family relations are hotbeds of emotion. But what is an emotion? What happens in our bodies when an emotion is triggered? How can emotions help us live productive, healthy, and connected lives? And can we ever truly understand what somebody else is feeling? These are some of the mysteries that we will seek to unravel in this course. We will read literature from Darwin to the latest scientific studies, combine lectures and small-group discussions, conduct research experiments, and engage in peer review and online collaboration.

HDC 309-0 Team Dynamics (1 Unit)   In this course, we will explore team dynamics, those forces that influence a team's behavior and performance, and what can enhance or hinder potential for impact. We will analyze the contributors to team functioning and their interrelationships at multiple levels: intrapersonal, interpersonal, group and organizational. Key topics include team development, team make-up and roles, leadership and followership, decision-making, navigating conflict, collaboration and competition, effective communication, content vs. process, diversity and in-group/out-group tensions. Throughout the class, students will be analyzing and applying concepts through case studies and simulations. Assignments to demonstrate mastery include regular written individual papers and a team project. This course is suitable for undergraduate students in LOC, Human Development in Context, and related majors throughout Northwestern that are interested in leadership, teams/groups or organizational change. Taught with LOC 309-0; may not receive credit for both courses.

HDC 310-0 The Art and Science of Aging (1 Unit)   For over 2000 years, poets and philosophers have commented on the universal human experience of "getting older." In the past few hundred years, novelists and scientists have joined the effort, along with filmmakers, musicians, counselors, bloggers, motivational speakers, and a host of others. What does it feel like to move through the adult years and toward "old age"? How do people's personalities, social relationships, and overall world view change as they grow older? What does psychological and social science have to say about general trends, as well as individual differences, in aging? This discussion-based and writing-intensive seminar is sequentially organized in terms of five cardinal themes: (1) the social/emotional world, (2) generations, (3) memory and the self, (4) loss, and (5) wisdom of the ages. Within these five themes, the seminar will consider a range of psychological and social issues as they apply to adult development and aging, sampling some of the most provocative sources from fiction, drama, poetry, music, and cinema - and from the scientific literature.

HDC 330-0 Adolescent Stress: Sources and Solutions (1 Unit)   Why are adolescence and early adulthood stressful periods of life? Are they more stressful now than in the past? How do we best define and measure adolescent and young adult stress? This course is an advanced, interactive, undergraduate class in which the instructor and students explore the set of above questions together, through readings, discussions, and through qualitative and quantitative coding and analysis of datasets on adolescent stress. Prerequisites: (SESP 201-0) and (SESP 210-0 or any 200-level Statistics Equivalent).

HDC 340-0 Building Loving and Lasting Relationships: Marriage 101 (1 Unit)   The intricacies and problems of close, committed, interpersonal relationships, especially marriage. Juniors and Seniors only.

HDC 347-0 Mapping and Spatial Analysis for Social Issues (1 Unit)   The focus of the course is on using the power of geospatial analysis to identify, understand, and make recommendations about addressing social, racial, and other inequities, including access to healthy food, environmental pollution, policing, etc. Students will learn basic use of the ArcGIS online program to support geospatial analysis.

HDC 351-0 Special Topics in Human Development in Context (1 Unit)   Advanced work on special topics.


SESP 114-0 Summer Internship (0 Unit)  

SESP 115-0 Internship (0 Unit)  

SESP 195-0 Civic Engagement (1 Unit)   Critical reflection on community service experiences in relation to broader societal issues. Conceptual frameworks for understanding the meaning and nature of community. For Civic Engagement Certificate students only.

SESP 200-0 Understanding Knowledge (1 Unit)   What does it mean to know something? What are the different types of knowledge and what distinguishes them from one another? What counts as fact vs. opinion vs. belief and so on; who gets to decide and under what conditions? How is knowledge produced and how does it gain traction? How does the source and type of knowledge interact with socio-political-cultural constructs and systems of power and, in turn, how can "knowledge" be used to produce and/or perpetuate power and privilege or to empower those who are marginalized? Finally, how does what we do in SESP and at Northwestern as both consumers and producers of knowledge fit within the landscape of these questions? In this course students will explore these and other questions to gain insight into the social production, distribution, consumption, interpretation, and operationalization of "knowledge." Using primarily seminar-style discussion, the first portion of the course focuses on building and analyzing theoretical frameworks and applied texts in order to generate a working understanding of "knowledge" in its myriad forms. Among our goals for the first portion of the course is to tie theoretical, academic, and "folk" knowledges to everyday experiences and the world around us writ large. The second portion of the class will involve a series of applied of cases studies, including welcoming members of the SESP faculty community to present on their research, which we will work to bring into conversation with our generated frameworks regarding the sources, types, and implications of knowledge.

SESP 201-0 Human Development: Childhood and Adolescence (1 Unit)   Personal, social, and cognitive development from birth through adolescence. Interplay of biological and experiential factors on linguistic and conceptual development, ego, and personality.

SESP 203-0 Human Development: Adulthood and Aging (1 Unit)   Psychological, sociological, and biological factors influencing socialization and development from young and middle adulthood through old age. Influences of family, school, and work on the individual.

SESP 204-0 Designing for Social Change (1 Unit)   A key goal of this course is to acquire an intellectual and applied understanding of the principles of program design and development, which include a sustained consideration of issues affecting the quality of program implementation. This course is best suited for FIRST AND SECOND YEAR students.

SESP 210-0 Introduction to Statistics and Research Methodology (1 Unit)   Definitions and classifications of terms used in quantitative methods; measures of typical and maximum performance, reliability, and validity checks; reporting and displaying data; interpreting results.

SESP 218-0 Leaders Lab (1 Unit)   N/A.

SESP 251-0 Special Topics (1 Unit)   N/A.

SESP 260-0 Community Based Research Methodologies: Educational Justice (1 Unit)   This course examines the histories, ideas, practices, relations and possible futures that shape struggles for educational justice and human thriving. The course is unique in that it brings together an intergenerational group of thinkers and learners (high school students, undergraduate students, youth workers, graduate students, professors, high school teachers and community members) to engage in collaborative study, reflection and design.

SESP 272-0 Field Research Methods (1 Unit)   Guided practice in systematic and participant observation. Observer bias, field notes, unobtrusive measures.

SESP 291-1 Peer-Led Learning: Theory and Practice (0.25 Unit)   SESP 291 is the training program for students working as first-time mentors in the Peer Leaders program. It is taken over two academic quarters, with each quarter offering .25 credit (a total of .5 credit). You will receive a "K" grade for fall quarter, which means you are continuing in the course. After winter quarter, you will receive a letter grade which will be retroactively applied to fall quarter.

SESP 291-2 Peer-Led Learning: Theory and Practice (0.25 Unit)  

SESP 295-0 Advanced Civic Engagement (1 Unit)   Course on the importance of community capacity building and the community-consulting process; start of preliminary work for the Certificate in Civic Engagement capstone project.

SESP 298-0 Student Organized Seminar (1 Unit)   Courses proposed by students and supervised by faculty sponsors on special topics approved by the SESP undergraduate education director. May be taken only once per quarter; pass/no credit only. Consultation with the SESP student affairs assistant dean advised.

SESP 299-1 Civic Engagement Capstone Research (1 Unit)   Independent study courses leading to completion of the Certificate in Civic Engagement capstone project.

SESP 299-2 Certificate in Civic Engagement- Capstone Project (1 Unit)   Independent study courses leading to completion of the Certificate in Civic Engagement capstone project.

SESP 310-0 Causal Methods for Evaluating Policy (1 Unit)   This course will provide students with a framework for understanding causal inference and a toolkit for making causal claims using quantitative data. Prerequisites: Students need to have taken SESP 210-0 or any 200-level STATS course.

SESP 320-0 Race and Education (1 Unit)   Conceptual underpinnings of the construct of race and how conceptions of race have influenced the course of education in the United States.

SESP 322-0 Crafting Child Policy (1 Unit)   N/A.

SESP 323-0 Trauma and Atrocity: Holocaust Memory, Memorial and Museums (1 Unit)   What is Holocaust memory? How has Holocaust memory changed over time, and how does the Holocaust continue to affect our understanding of trauma, atrocity, and human rights today? This seminar addresses individual memory, including survivor and witness testimony, memory and trauma, and the impact of the Holocaust on survivors' families and communities.

SESP 324-0 Pedagogies for History and Injustice: Holocaust Education Design (1 Unit)   N/A.

SESP 325-0 Race, Adolescence, and School Discipline (1 Unit)   In recent years, racial disparities in school discipline have attracted the attention of educators, policymakers, parents, and the general public. Why is it so hard for legal, political, and educational institutions to improve school discipline? How do intersections of race, gender, and social class matter for students' experiences of school discipline? Are there schools that are getting discipline right? What does that look like, and to what extent can other schools learn from their successes? In this course, we will learn about evidence-based policy improvements and imagine how to create schools where race does not predict discipline.

SESP 351-0 Special Topics (1 Unit)   Advanced work on special topics.

SESP 351-SA Special Topics (1 Unit)   Advanced work on special topics. This course is limited to students approved to study abroad through the Global Learning Office (GLO).

SESP 360-0 Magic Monsters & the Holocaust (1 Unit)   In this course, we'll explore public learning about the Holocaust through popular film and fiction. We'll question which historical narratives are being told and which are being ignored, and we'll ask why and how genres like fantasy, sci-fi, fairy tales, and time travel are commonly used to bring stories of mass-violence to the public.

SESP 381-0 BSED/BSJ Experiential Learning Community Workshop Series (0 Unit)   In their second year, students choose 1 experiential education requirement – either the SESP Practicum, Student Teaching, or Medill Journalism Residency for 4 units of credit. The students participate in the Community Workshop Series during the year they complete their experiential education requirement.

SESP 390-0 Research Apprenticeship (1 Unit)   Opportunity to participate in faculty research projects. Prerequisites: consent of the faculty member and the SESP assistant dean for student affairs; submission of completed Request for Independent Study/Special Courses Form at registration.

SESP 391-0 Advanced Research Design (1 Unit)   Overview of research methods that may be used to design and implement the honors thesis. Prerequisites: SESP 210-0 and SESP 272-0 recommended.

SESP 392-0 Experiential Learning: Practicum (4 Units)  

SESP 392-SA Experiential Learning: Practicum Study Abroad (4 Units)  

SESP 398-0 Senior Thesis Seminar (1-3 Units)   Students develop, design, implement, and evaluate a research project under a faculty advisor's guidance. Prerequisites: senior status, cumulative GPA by the end winter quarter of the junior year, recommendation for the honors program from SESP 391-0 instructor(s); consent of program director.

SESP 399-0 Independent Study (1 Unit)   Faculty-supervised study of special topics of the student's own choosing and not covered in regular courses. Prerequisites: consent of the supervising faculty member(s) and the SESP assistant dean for student affairs; submission of completed Request for Independent Study/Special Courses Form at registration.