As a laboratory school, the Child and Family Development Center is a demonstration setting for best practices in early childhood education. Student teachers benefit from observing seasoned teachers collaborating with children in a community of learning. On a regular basis, these college students will work alongside staff in the classroom, planning and implementing meaningful activities under the supervision of the teachers. The carefully planned environment in the laboratory school provides children with opportunities to experiment, explore, problem solve, and interact. Although seemingly informal, this environment is thoughtfully planned to allow for both children’s natural learning and positive experiences for student teachers.
Generally, laboratory schools:
- Provide opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge through practical opportunities for undergraduate or graduate students in Early Childhood related programs.
- Provide opportunities for faculty and students within the ECE department and other departments within the college to conduct research related to child development, families, and child care.
- Provide developmentally appropriate curriculum to those children who are enrolled.
- Serve as a model and resource for infant/toddler and preschool childcare and development programs in the region.
Incorporate family education into the children’s programs for the families of children who are enrolled.