Professional Development and Partnerships

Although the Child Study Center primarily functions as a laboratory for research and classes in introductory and developmental psychology, over the years the Center has forged connections to many departments on campus and is always open to fostering interdisciplinary work. Not surprisingly, students in Education courses often observe and study the model program in early childhood education offered by the Center, but visitors from departments as disparate as Physics and Art have also taken advantage of the opportunities available at the CSC. For example, students of computer science have studied young children's thinking as a component of understanding artificial intelligence and have consulted with CSC staff about the implications of development for computer user interfaces meant for young children. Engineering students have conducted observations and drawn upon staff expertise so as to imagine and design developmentally-appropriate materials for preschool facilities, such as a picture-based, timed monitor to encourage sufficient hand washing. Students of clinical assessment regularly try their hands at intelligence testing with the preschoolers, and sociology majors look for theory in action in the ways that societal structure is manifest in children's play. An English class on children's literature frequently makes use of the Center's vast library and the staff's knowledge of literacy development as they create their own stories.

The academic affordances of the program are limitless. Faculty interested in exploring ways in which they might enhance the concepts they are teaching in class through visits to the preschool or consultation with its staff are encouraged to contact the Center Director. While the Center is delighted to consider how specific teaching or research proposals might be implemented, the staff are also available to brainstorm with faculty about how their work might be enhanced by this wonderful campus resource.