Baby doll simulation gives psychology students a taste of parenthood

October 16, 2009 — by Vivien Lu

For junior Taara Rangan, a baby doll simulation in the child psychology and development class taught by Lauressa Ridge helped her appreciate her own parents.

“It is a lot more challenging than I had expected….,” said Rangan. “[The fake baby] woke me up every hour at night. I had never been so tired before.”

During the first 10 weeks of the class, students learn about how children develop, from pre-natal information to caring for toddlers, to the different theorists and how to be proper care givers.

Students practice their newly acquired knowledge every Thursday by going to the on-campus preschool day care.

“I enjoy the interaction with the kids,” said Rangan. “When we head over to the preschool, we play with the toddlers and watch them run around. It’s really relaxing compared to all my other academic classes.”

Later on in the year, they will volunteer at other preschools off-campus to get the real experience to care for kids.

Junior Nina Mohanty also realized the difficulty of raising kids through many hands-on experiments, such as the pretend baby.

“I thought the class was going to be easy,” said Mohanty. “Kids can get really difficult because it’s hard to interact and react to them. Now I understand my parents better and know that I will never have kids, but I still like to care for them.”

Ridge hopes that by teaching students the development of a child, they can put their knowledge to use to help aid children through this development. Ridge knows that most of the students that take her class want to go on to a future in child education.

“Take the class; it’s great and also fun,” said Ridge. “You will be able to take what you learn and really put it into practice.”

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