Child development laboratory schools are found on college and university campuses throughout the U.S. Over the last century, they have acquired a long, rich history. Originally seen as settings for the new field of child study in the early 1900s, their functions have evolved over time. These programs often play a central role in supporting teaching, research, and outreach/engagement activities in the fields of child development and early childhood education. Yet, many have had to fight for their existence when economic times have gotten difficult. Many long-running programs have had to close.
This book provides a unique perspective on the purpose and function of child development laboratory schools and the potential of large-scale research to examine important world problems. The individual stories presented are real stories that offer reasonable solutions and ideas for maximizing the value of these venerable institutions. Most importantly, the authors demonstrate how child development laboratory schools can address the criticisms often lodged regarding their lack of relevancy and focus on real-life problems and solutions. The range of perspectives includes university faculty trying to maximize research that is applied in nature as well as redefining what and where a laboratory is, both in the university and in the community. The message is clear that child development laboratory schools are alive and well, and continuing to evolve.
"U.S. Child Development Laboratory leaders respond to a call to create a research consortium framed by Applied Developmental Science that takes advantage of CDLs’ unique histories across nearly 100 years as centers of excellence in early education, professional development, and applied research. Through rich examples from local programs, this volume charts the power and possibility of multi-site efforts to confront many of the large questions and issues facing early childhood education today." – Mary Jane Moran, Associate Professor, Department of Child and Family Studies, University of Tennessee
"At a time when the relevance and viability of laboratory schools are in question, this volume offers a reconceptualization that enlarges the scope and reach of their work, increases their capacity to impact children, families, practitioners and policy makers, and secures their place on campuses, communities, and the profession." – Cynthia Paris, Associate Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and Director, Early Childhood Laboratory School, College of Education and Human Development, University of Delaware
1. An Introduction to the Future of Child Development Laboratory Settings – a Consortium for Applied Developmental Science 2. Data and Infrastructure Supports: A Critical Component for the Creation of a Lab School Consortium 3. Expanding Research from Collaborative Self-Study to an Applied Developmental Science Model 4. Researcher-Teacher Collaboration in Applied Research in a University Laboratory School 5. Building and Sustaining Community-Based Partnerships 6. Making the Shift to Child Development Laboratory Site: A Case Example 7. Educare as a Model of Multisite, Collaborative, Policy-Relevant Research 8. A View from Higher Education Administration: What Do Child Development Laboratory Settings Need to Do to Survive? 9. The Future of a Child Development Laboratory School Consortium: Applied Developmental Science in Action