Because of our affiliation with Yale University, the Center provides a teaching and observation experience for Yale undergraduate and graduate fellows in training at the Yale Child Study Center. We also serve as a training site for other area colleges as well as high school students.
The Director is on the faculty at the Yale Child Study Center and teaches three undergraduate child development courses at Yale.
Yale Child Study Center and Teacher Preparation Courses
Early Childhood Methods
The course deals with the development of curricula for young children. Goals are to deepen insights and develop critical analysis of educational programs for young children in light of current research and developmental theory. Understanding of the ongoing processes of curriculum development, creating a responsive environment, and working with families and other members of the teaching team will be a significant focus of the course.
Language, Literacy, and Play
There is a widespread consensus that play is an essential component of a developmentally appropriate early childhood curriculum. Research indicates that play enhances a child’s creativity, intellectual development and social emotional development. This course will demonstrate the complicated role that play has in the development of language and literacy skills. A major part of each topic presentation will be a discussion of the role that play has in the curriculum in enhancing each developmental area. Literacy skills include speaking, listening, attending, reading and writing. Because learning to play, learning language and learning literacy skills are all part of the process of thinking and communication, the course will provide a view which attempts to demonstrate the integration of language, literacy and play in an early childhood education curriculum.
Theoretical aspects of each of these developmental areas will be examined first, and it will be that theoretical understanding which will be the basis upon which ideas about curriculum will be explored, experienced and discussed.
The goal of this course is for students to develop a theoretical base in child development and behavior and to become sensitive and careful observers of young children. During the seminar we will consider aspects of cognitive, social, physical and emotional development. The course is taught from the perspective of a developmental interectionist approach. It gives an overview of the major theories in the field but will focus on the complex interaction between the developing self and the environment. Students have the opportunity to see how programs for young children use psychodynamic and interactional theories to inform their philosophy and curriculum.
All students spend three hours per week as a participant observer in one of three Yale affiliated child care programs.
Harris Fellowship in Child Development and Early Childhood Education
The Harris Fellowship is a collaboration between the Yale Child Study Center Section on Child Development and the Calvin Hill Day Care Center. Fellows have a teacher mentor at Calvin Hill and a clinical mentor at the Child Study Center. They regularly meet with their mentors for support, focusing on blending educational and clinical understandings of young children and families.
Read the reflections of past Harris Fellows.
Seedlings Teaching Fellowship
The Seedlings Fellowship in Early Childhood Education and Child Development is designed as a supervised and supported entry into the professional world of early childhood education, child care and teaching. It is a unique combination of engagement in a high quality preschool classroom setting and participation in related courses in a nationally renowned child development clinic.
Fellows work a full schedule at Calvin Hill and become integral members of the highly experienced teaching team. Under the supervision of their mentor, they gradually assume all the responsibilities of a teacher over the course of the year. Depending on the fellows’ preparation and background, they may have the opportunity to participate in early childhood seminars offered by the Yale Child Study Center.
For more information about the Seedlings Fellowship, please read the full description of the Seedlings Fellowship Curriculum.