W2680 Social and Personality Development

Aug 2012

Beware. The course material is honestly not very difficult at all and Stacey is a fairly good lecturer (if not a bit like an elementary school teacher with her obvious answer questions that would throw everybody off since we're not used to that here). She does make the material abundantly clear so that chances are you will find that you totally understand the concepts (provided that you go to class OR do the readings, which are also pretty straightforward). Sometimes she overdoes it with the review of what we learned last class in the next class (which is quite useful when you do skip a class/reading or few) but your difficulty will not be in understanding the material, but in trying to understand what in the world she wants or expects from your papers. She will take a whole hour out of the class to go over the assignment and clarify her expectations, which on the surface seem simple enough. However, when you get your grade back chances are you won't be happy and it's because, as the other reviewer pointed out, the TAs are really strict on what they expect. When I went over my paper with the TA, the rubric they were supposed to adhere to was so strict and detailed--which was annoying considering the papers are not allowed to be very long AND there's a penalty for going over the length. In a way, she over complicates things with diagrams and such in her notes which are not really necessary, and if you don't explain the concepts exactly as she did, you won't do very well. Plus, the second paper was unfair (in my opinion) because it was something like "Come up with your own new theory using the theories we learned in class." ... The people who come up with these things spend YEARS fine tuning their theories and ideas so it's pretty unfair to ask us to come up with something really sophisticated and insightful in like a period of a month and squeeze it into 6-8 pages in addition to in-depth explanations (and they must be in-depth or you lose points) of all the pertinent theories we went over in class. The midterm/final are pretty easy. You basically just have to replicate the outlines you got from the class notes in essay form. If given the chance, I would avoid this class and take another one instead. I found it way too frustrating and her random rude outbursts in response to students whispering or people outside the classroom talking to be quite disconcerting. Her constant references to herself and when she did swing dance were also pretty annoying.

Jan 2000

Good lectures -- well prepared, relaxed delivery and she enhances the variety by wearing a different outfit to every class.

Jan 2000

Carol Dweck is an engaging lecturer. As an expert in the field, she concentrates quite a bit on her own material and therefore is very clear in her descriptions of theory and of experiments. This was quite possibly the most interesting course i have taken in my time at Columbia. This class should be required for anyone who intends to become a parent someday. Each exam covers a lot of material, but the questions on the exams are VERY predictable, and for the most part, easy.