Learning About Infants and Toddlers

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Erin Whooley, a senior at Wheelock, shares her thoughts about the Human Growth and Development course she took during her first year here.

When I first came to Wheelock College and learned that all students were required to take a course called Human Growth and Development (HGD) for two semesters, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never taken any psychology courses during high school, and I assumed I knew plenty about the development of children from working with them so frequently. To my surprise, Human Growth and Development became my favorite class at Wheelock College during my first year. Not only was I able to learn pertinent information that was crucial to my future work as a child life specialist, but I was also able to apply what I was learning during my required field placement in an infant daycare.

I was so pleased to see that the theories and developmental milestones we learned about during human growth and development were discussed throughout many of my human development, psychology, and child life classes at Wheelock. When it came time to choose classes for the following year, I found that there was a class on infant and toddler development offered, that continued many of the conversations that were brought up in my HGD class. Because I loved working with infant and toddlers so much, I decided to sign up for it. Infant and toddler behavior and development became my favorite class that I have taken during my time at Wheelock. The professor, Catherine Donahue, taught us about infant and toddler developmental theories, milestones, and developmental problems that may arise. We also had the opportunity to observe infants and toddlers in order to apply the information that we learned. Towards the end of the semester, we were able to research a part of infant development that we were interested in and present it to the class as a final project. I found that the information learned in this class gave me crucial information that will help in my future work with children. Professor Catherine Donahue inspired me to look further into working with infant and toddlers, as I quickly learned they were my favorite group to learn about.


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  1. This is a timely and critical issue given what we know about brain development. Why isn’t it more visible at the college?