Strategic Learning Priorities

I. Foundations of Child Development
Students will understand the theoretical, empirical, and philosophical foundations of the discipline. In addition, students will apply their knowledge while working with children, families, and professionals..

II. Child and Environmental Assessment and Study
Students will understand, perform, and appreciate multiple forms of child assessment. Students will be able to use qualitative and quantitative methods of assessing children. They will be able to use the information to help identify a child’s strengths and develop, implement, and evaluate plans of intervention to resolve areas of need.

III. Programs for Children and Families
SStudents will understand model programs for both children and families and implement developmentally appropriate curriculum activities. Students will evaluate the impact and efficacy of these programs for children, families, and communities.

IV. Professionalism
Students will understand professionalism by demonstrating knowledge, attitudes, and skills of those individuals who are committed to understanding and working with children and families. They will demonstrate mastery of communication (reading, writing, listening, computer, and speaking skills), leadership, research, assessment and evaluation, and collaboration skills.

V. Critical Thinking
Students will demonstrate an understanding of and ability to apply scientific methods of thinking (including logic and empirical reasoning) about children, families, and their well being. Students will differentiate between their personal and subjective theories about children’s development and scientific theories of development rooted in empirical research and based on best practices. In addition, students will demonstrate both currency in information technology appropriate to the discipline and an understanding of the ethical use of such technology.

VI. Developmental Context
Students will understand the multiple environmental contexts in which children grow and develop. Students will appreciate and interpret how social class, parents, families, peers, types of children’s programs, culture, societal changes, and communities influence the course of development.