Child Study

Child Study

The mission of the Department of Child Study is to immerse students in the liberal arts tradition with an emphasis on the latest research and thinking to assist them to appreciate the complex interactions that characterize child development and learning in infancy and childhood.

An emphasis is placed on important contemporary issues and challenges, exploring topics such as understanding development in the context of current societal and cultural influences. Pre-service teachers are encouraged to aspire reflectively toward excellence and a commitment to becoming self-motivated intellectuals and lifelong learners. As future teachers they recognize how respect and sensitivity play an important part in the way children react to their world, how they learn and how they view themselves.

The goals of St. Joseph’s College affirm the dignity, freedom and inherent value of each person. This affirmation is realized through a student-centered environment wherein the faculty’s primary commitment is to excellence in teaching. In this open, supportive atmosphere, students are challenged to develop their potential. They are encouraged to acquire a spirit of inquiry and a joy in learning through an acquired knowledge base.

The faculty of the Department of Child Study believes that the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for effective teaching can best be acquired by translating theory into practice. Therefore, beginning in sophomore year, child study majors are involved in general and special education fieldwork. Through contact with departmental faculty and school personnel, assistance and feedback are offered for ongoing assessment and career guidance.

The following outcome statements are presented as a way of charting and demonstrating professional growth. Upon completion of the teacher education program in the Department of Child Study, the pre-service teacher will be able:

  • To identify and employ the concepts and tools of inquiry and the knowledge base of curricular areas to be taught and to create learning experiences that make the subject matter meaningful for children
  • To identify how children develop and learn and provide them with learning opportunities that support intellectual and social development in an environment that is sensitive and respectful
  • To identify children’s differences in their functional level and create instructional experiences that are adapted and supportive of diverse functional levels, culture, ethnicity and socioeconomic status and are inclusive of gender
  • To use a variety of instructional strategies that develop the critical thinking and problem solving skills of children
  • To use formal and informal assessment strategies to ensure the continuous intellectual and social development of the learner. Use assessment data as a way of planning and implementing instruction
  • To develop strategies to form and foster collaborative relationships with parents, caregivers and/or colleagues that are supportive of each child’s functional level
  • To sustain a positive learning climate by implementing proactive intervention strategies, group motivation and behavior that encourage a positive social environment, active engagement in learning and self-motivation
  • To cultivate becoming reflective practitioners who continually critique and evaluate the effect of their actions and choices on children and professionals in the learning community
  • To foster a commitment to seek opportunities for professional growth as lifelong learners.