Skip to main content

ASU’s Child Study Lab returns with expanded instruction opportunities

The child development preschool returns to in-person instruction this fall


children seated at a table with an adult playing a game

This fall, the ASU Child Study Lab is opening its doors to children once again for in-person instruction and is expanding its virtual classroom.

|
July 14, 2021

This fall, the ASU Child Study Lab is opening its doors to children once again for in-person instruction and is expanding its virtual classroom. Established by Arizona State University's Department of Psychology in 1972, the Child Study Lab is a preschool where children and families explore, create, learn and grow using a curriculum built on the latest research in child development.

The curriculum at the lab focuses on cognitive, social-emotional, physical and language development for children age 15 months to pre-kindergarten. Children are encouraged to play and self-initiate learning to discover areas of improvement and interest.

After piloting a synchronous learning environment with limited-size in-person classes and online participants, the program is expanding capacity to a larger audience with hopes of being back to pre-COVID registration and classroom sizes. 

“We were totally blown away by the suddenness of shutting down our program from COVID,” said Anne Kupfer, director of the Child Study Lab. “We took this unusual and unpleasant time from the pandemic and used it as a chance to innovate. We thought: Can we do this synchronous learning experience at the (Child Study Lab)?”

Children traditionally have been thought to be unable to maintain attention on a screen, but in this pilot run of the synchronous program, the teachers kept the children moving and learning, not just staring at a screen. 

“We had them stand up if they agreed or disagreed,” said Kupfer. “Children learn through play — their bodies remember through the act of embodied cognition. We actually improved some children’s attention spans!”

A key area of development that the Child Study Lab focuses on is emotion regulation, or the ability to manage and respond to an emotional experience. Research has shown that a child’s ability to self-regulate emotion correlates with lifelong success academically and socially. 

“It is so important that children between the ages of 2 and 5 experience a good curriculum of emotion regulation. It really shapes how they handle conflict and stress for the rest of their lives,” said Kupfer. “The (Child Study Lab) truly is a wonderful, magical place, where all the latest research in child development is implemented in the curriculum. We’ve always had a wonderful faculty in child development in the department.”

Another component that makes the lab different from most preschool environments is the inclusion of undergraduate research assistants as part of their child development lab requirements. This allows children to interact with the undergraduates and participate in research projects. 

“The assessments and research projects are a wonderful way for the parents to get to know their children more. The parents are able to see the studies that the children participate in, and it allows the students to experience an important hands-on research component in an active setting,” said Kupfer. 

Over the summer, the Child Study Lab had students participating from multiple different states and even different countries.

“We actually brought the in-person children into small academic groups and had the remote children appear on iPads with the group of children. The online children could participate just as if they were physically present in the classroom,” said Kupfer. "While we are so happy and excited to have more children back in the classroom, we are also equally excited about the possibilities of reaching children that we never thought we could reach before.”

To enroll your child in a virtual or in-person session, visit the Child Study Lab website

Video courtesy of Robert Ewing

More Science and technology

 

Galaxy cluster.

Webb telescope reveals star clusters in Cosmic Gems arc

Young galaxies in the early universe experienced significant bursts of star formation, producing large amounts of ionizing…

June 25, 2024
Scientist taking noted in the field.

Research on how rocks preserve signs of life honors late ASU mentor

Building from his PhD work at Arizona State University, Jon Lima-Zaloumis is developing methods to look for signs of active life…

June 24, 2024
Woman in a white coat working in a lab.

Tooth enamel from Greek cemetery tells the story of those buried

An ASU PhD candidate is working to piece together the lives of people who were found buried in shackles in a Greek cemetery…

June 24, 2024