Mission of the Child Study and Development Center
Early Education Mission
Our mission is to design and provide developmentally and culturally appropriate programs that promote children’s development, support families, and are reflective of our community. An integral component of our curriculum is that children and teachers construct the content of the curriculum and the processes for learning in partnership through inquiry. We make a special effort to promote a diverse and inclusive community of learners.
Pre-service Teaching Mission
Our mission is to provide UNH students with excellent teacher training in early childhood education that parallels our work with children and families, as well as offer opportunities to learn about child and family development in a naturalistic setting. Each year more than one hundred students enrolled in Family Studies courses at UNH use the Center as a laboratory for experiential teaching and learning, and documentation of those experiences. Students from other disciplines, for example, education, psychology, occupational therapy, and communication disorders, also use the Center as a laboratory for the study of children.
Research and Outreach Mission
Our mission is to engage directly in action research that supports our work with children, to provide the UNH community with access to a relevant research site, and to engage the broader professional community in learning about innovative early childhood practices. The seven classrooms in the center are equipped with observation booths that are used by college students, faculty, parents, and visitors. These booths provide researchers with the opportunity to observe children in a natural context. Research projects have ranged from the effects of infant child care on attachment to the development of emergent literacy. All research projects must be approved by the UNH Institutional Review Board and by the Associate director. The center hosts and annual conference and frequent tours by educators from across the country and internationally.