Human Development 140

Information for UC Davis Students

HDE 140/140L

"Communication and Interaction with Young Children"

(Human Development Practicum offered Fall, Winter and Spring quarters)


Tuesdays, 4:10 - 6:00 pm (TB 123)


Thursdays, 4:10 - 5:45 pm, (CCFS classrooms)

Field Work(Lab):

7-14 hours per week in our program for young children on campus (at CCFS, 244 First Street). Lab sections: choose one: MW 8:30-noon; T/Th 8:30 - noon; MW 12:30-4:00; or TTh 12:30-4:00.


HDE 100A or equivalent, or consent of instructor

Graded Course:

HDE 140 lecture (Tuesdays) is the 2 unit graded portion. HDE 140L is the 3-5 unit pass/no pass lab+discussion. The two are taken concurrently.


In this course you will work with young children in a group setting as you learn about their development.

Course Goals:

To apply theory and research on early childhood development to your work with infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and to learn ways of communicating and interacting with them that enhance their development

HDE 140/140L fulfills the practicum requirement for the HD major.

What is HDE 140/140L?

The HD 140/140L course, "Communication and Interaction with Young Children," gives students an opportunity to link what they have learned about human development to the real world of young children. At the Early Childhood Laboratory, our 82 enrolled children, ages 6 months to 6 years, learn about the world by actively exploring and experimenting: building with blocks, drawing and painting, working with clay, climbing, digging, reading, singing, and playing with friends. In this active environment, HD 140L students learn about children's development by joining with them in their explorations. Each student works--two mornings or two afternoons a week--with an infant, toddler, or preschool class. Under the guidance of master teachers, students become members of the teaching staff, responsible for getting to know and nurturing the development of a "care group" of 2-4 children. Students put theories and research about child development into practice as they engage in pretend play and conversation with children, ask questions to prompt more complex thinking, and function as a secure base in their school setting, providing nurture and comfort as needed.

What will I be doing?

Each session begins with a 15-minute "briefing" time, before children arrive, during which a master teacher will discuss with HD 140L student caregivers the needs and interests of individual children, as well as specific behaviors to observe or try. As children arrive, students greet them, check in with their parents, and help them transition from home to school. Students then actively engage in "work" and play with children, assist as they learn self-help and social skills, join them at a teacher-led circle time of songs, games and stories, share snack with their care group, and help them in the large outdoor play yards as they explore nature and develop their gross motor skills. After children finish their 3-hour daily session, students again have the opportunity to "debrief" with the master teacher about their experiences with the children--a time students find invaluable for integrating their learning. Needless to say, this is one of the most "hands-on" college courses most students here have ever taken!

What kind of coursework goes with it?

Concurrently with this "hands-on" experience, students enroll in the Tuesday afternoon, (4-6 p.m.) 2-unit HD 140 lecture course, where they expand their knowledge about young children's early relationships, cultural influences on development, school readiness, developmental assessment, and related research about growth and development in the first five years of life. Thursday afternoons (4-6 p.m.) they participate in the lab discussion sections with the approximately 15 other students who work at different times in the same children's classroom. There, the classroom's Program Coordinator and Lead Teacher will help link research to practice in practical ways that are tailored to each particular age group of children, discussing topics such as motivation, play, child guidance, attachment and separation, and language development. Both course components include some readings and writing assignments. The HD 140L course satisfies the practicum requirement for the Human Development major, but is open and welcoming to students of all majors as space allows.