NEW: The Early Development & Learning Science Major

NEW: The Early Development & Learning Science Major

The new Early Development & Learning Science (ED&LS) Major is an interdisciplinary, developmental science major focused on children from 0 to age 8. It includes a range of integrated coursework from Education, Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy, and Social Work, with specializations in Developmental Science or Education.

ED&LS Distinguishing Characteristics

Several features distinguish the ED&LS major:

  • Specific Focus on Young Children: The ED&LS program focuses specifically on children from the prenatal period to 8 years of age.
  • Interdisciplinary Breadth: The major takes an integrated approach, cultivating knowledge and skills from education, psychology, social welfare, public health, and public policy to provide a comprehensive picture of children’s early development and learning.
  • Specializations: Students choose from two specializations—Developmental Science or Education—to focus their course of study.
  • Cohort Model: We utilize a cohort model, bringing together a diverse group of 24 students who will take the core ED&LS coursework together.
  • Innovative Curriculum: All ED&LS students will take the core seminar using inquiry-based learning, and weaving together biological and socio-cultural perspectives.
  • Senior Seminar: All students will take the senior seminar, using problem-based learning, to address actual challenges facing those who work with, or on behalf of, young children.
  • Nexus between Theory and Practice: All ED&LS students will complete an integrated practicum on campus to provide essential knowledge gained from working directly with young children. ED&LS students will also have opportunities for advanced practicums.

ED&LS Student Goals

All ED&LS students will:

  • Understand the theoretical bases and empirical science of early development and learning, from the prenatal period to age 8. Emphasis is on the interaction of biological, psychological, and socio-cultural mechanisms that shape young children’s health, development, and learning;
  • Develop an interdisciplinary and scholarly approach to research, practice, and policy issues across early development and learning science domains;
  • Become reflective and critical thinkers who are familiar with the range of research methods and design used in ED&LS studies, and who have the knowledge, skills, and experience to address crucial issues; and
  • Understand how to establish and foster effective partnerships with families, schools, organizations, and communities, at local, state, national, and international levels to create more responsive systems to serve diverse young children and their families.