Nature vs nurture

Nature vs nurture: how infants learn to fit into their environments (DAA012)

Explore the impact of environmental, societal and cultural factors on children’s development

This course is also available as part of a cost-saving course bundle.

This five-hour online course explores how infants and children are influenced by, and adapt to, their environments.

Available to start at any time, this CPD certified course examines the profound effect that early experiences can have on children’s brains, bodies and psyches, including the powerful impact of positive early relationships.

Aims and learning objectives

This online course explores the delicate interplay between nature and nurture, outlining how inherited traits and external influences can all impact on a child’s development. Central to this course is the idea that children are highly adaptive, developing in response to their environment even before birth.

By the end of the course, you will be more aware of the implications of this adaptive capacity and feel more confident applying this knowledge to your work with children and young people.

You will learn by:

  • exploring key concepts through interactive lecture content and videos
  • deepening your understanding via regular opportunities for reflection
  • considering a case study to help apply the theory to your work
  • testing your knowledge with a multiple choice quiz to access your CPD certificate

Who is this course for?

We welcome anyone to this course who has a keen interest in the subject area.

In particular, this course is for you if you work with children and families and wish to learn more about cutting edge research findings and how these can be used in your work.

You may be working in:

  • a school
  • social services
  • healthcare
  • the voluntary sector
  • or you may be considering work with children in the future

Course details

This interactive course runs continuously, so you can sign up at any time. It offers five hours of self-directed online learning which you can undertake at a time, pace and location that suits you.

You will have access to the course and its materials for one year. Access begins the day after you’ve booked, when you will receive your account details by email.

This mini course is also available as part of the Understanding and Nurturing Troubled Children course bundle, a convenient option that offers one year’s access to four complementary courses.

This course will allow you to:

  • discover how infants and children learn and adapt to their environment – adjusting to the emotional style and cultural expectations of their family and social group
  • identify some of the environmental, societal and cultural factors that can affect an infant’s development even before birth, including the impact of chronic stress
  • explore the powerful interaction between nature and nurture – encompassing the field of epigenetics and how our experiences can affect our genetic potential
  • establish the importance of interpersonal interaction, how we are all born primed to interact and relate to others, and how good early relationships are central to emotional health and growth

There are no specific requirements for the course, although we suggest you are working with, or have an interest in working with children, or want to learn more about the effects of difficult early experiences on children’s minds and behaviours.

There’s a multiple choice question assessment at the end of the course, which provides access to your Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust CPD certificate upon completion.

Course facilitators


CPD logo

This course has been independently evaluated for Continuing Professional Development purposes by the CPD Certification Service. This means that the learning activity meets global CPD standards and benchmarks, and the learning value has been scrutinised to ensure integrity and quality.

Book your place today

Our Digital Academy mini courses run continuously so you can join at any time. Access begins the day after you’ve booked, when you will receive your login details by email.

Save with our cost-effective bundles

This course is also available as part of a convenient, cost-saving bundle – providing you with one year’s access to four complementary online resources.

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