CD 479 – Home

  • Consider the Butterfly Effect Consider the Butterfly Effect Chaos theory posits that a small change can have tremendous consequences at a later point. Edward Lorenz proposed this concept. His example? The formation of a hurricane could be dependent on the flap of a butterfly's wings halfway around the world. If a butterfly can have such an effect, it follows that each one of us, working toward improving the lives of children, can cause a hurricane of change.
  • Ballot Initiatives Change California Ballot Initiatives Change California California is unique among US states in its citizens' power to take significant initiatives straight to the ballot box. From the recall of a California governor to placing a cigarette tax on the ballot to fund early childhood education projects, California voters create lasting change.
  • Working Together Working Together Understanding of public policy is an essential tool for a Child Development professional. The ability to influence the priorities, policies and decisions is one more way that we can create a better experience for children and familes.



“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” -Robert F. Kennedy

Welcome to CD 479: Policy Analysis and Advocacy. In this course, we will analyze public and private policies which affect children and families. We’ll examine the contexts that influence the formulation and implementation of policy and explore ways to influence policy development, both traditional and social-media-based.

We’ll start with an examination of the evolution of family policy in the US. The class will look at how historic policies profoundly affect contemporary policy formation and implementation. We will discuss family policy work from the perspective of major developmental theories, such as Piaget’s thoughts on moral development and complex reasoning, Maslow’s perspective on our highest level of development, Bronfenbrenner’s work on interrelated systems, and Gardner’s work on the 7 Levers of Mind Change. Policy analysis is not disconnected from the other content in our Child Development courses. Instead, this course represents a capstone, giving students an opportunity to bring all their knowledge about children and families into another arena.

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