The mission of the Margaret S. Wilson Child and Family Development Resource Center of Eastern Connecticut State University is to promote the social, emotional, cognitive, language, aesthetics, and physical development of young children of diverse backgrounds, to inspire, support, and educate their families, to provide a model program for future teachers and early childhood professionals, and to serve as a hub of innovative research and professional development.
- All young children have potential and are competent, curious, and capable of asking and answering their own questions, taking intellectual risks, and co-constructing knowledge with teachers, parents and peers.
- Children acquire knowledge of the physical and social world when they are challenged to make sense of new objects, actions, events, and relationships, relying on their prior knowledge and lived experiences.
- Learning has a social purpose and is supported by social and emotional competencies and positive, nurturing relationships with peers and adults.
- Play is a primary mode of expression, a rich context for the construction of knowledge, and a fundamental right of all young children.
- Supporting, empowering, advocating for, and engaging families will facilitate the positive development of the whole child. Collaborative, equal-status family-teacher partnerships are the foundation of a culturally meaningful, family-centered curriculum.
- Teachers and family members must collaborate in the assessment of young children in order to acquire complete, accurate, and culturally-sensitive understandings of development and to make meaningful use of assessment data in planning and implementing curriculum.
- Together, teachers and families can create a sense of belonging and community in which children’s emotions, spirits, and intellect can flourish in concert.
Each child is unique and demonstrates a distinct pattern of learning, interaction, communication, and interest, which is nurtured by family, culture and community.
The CFDRC has been the site for many exciting studies. Findings of these investigations have been presented at national and international conferences and published in noted research journals. The following are important recent findings of studies that were conducted in the Center:
- High-quality teacher-child interactions in play lead preschool students to become more independent in their on-going activities in the classroom.
- Preschool children use language that shows they have a “theory of the mind”—an understanding of what it means to know, think, learn, and remember.
- When children view themselves solving math problems on video, they acquire a greater understanding of problem solving and math skills.
- Teachers who have greater education and experience can more accurately interpret and respond to young children’s play needs.