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Institute of Child Development

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Institute of Child Development

The Institute of Child Development has two major goals.  The first is to provide a developmentally appropriate environment for early childhood students to observe and interact with young children.  The second is to provide young children with the very best educational opportunities during the early childhood years.

The Institute is accredited by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs. It is also an Oklahoma 3 Star Program, the highest quality ranking available.

The Institute of Child Development opened in 1935, a reflection of the widespread interest of the time in promoting young children's development through nursery schools. The Institute was a division of the Department of Human Development, under the auspices of the School of Home Economics until the early 1980's, when the School of Home Economics closed. At that time, the Institute transferred to the Department of Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, as part of the Early Childhood Education program within the College of Education.

At the Institute of Child Development we attempt to provide a quality early childhood education experience for your child.  We believe two major goals of early childhood education are to help children achieve autonomy and self-control through:

  • Self-selected center learning experiences and projects.
  • Encouraging children to be responsible for their personal needs, wants, actions and behaviors and examining the consequences of their actions.

We also seek to develop children's understanding of the physical characteristics of objects in their world.  In so doing, we hope to foster an understanding about the relationships among these objects.

The teacher's role at the Institute is to serve as a guide, a resource, and a facilitator for the child.  By this we mean that the teacher facilitates a child-centered environment by initiating activities and projects for children which are developmentally appropriate, purposeful, meaningful, and foster learning through self-selected play.  Children will learn best through a process of discovery, enabling them to build theories about how their world operates.  The teacher acts as a guide when she questions the child, encouraging him or her to think more deeply about a problem or situation.  The teacher acts as a resource person for children, offering suggestions as needed, yet encouraging children to develop ways for children to solve problems for themselves and to take responsibility for their actions.  We believe peer interactions are critical in helping children develop socially, creatively, physically, emotionally, and cognitively.  Through peer interactions children construct cognitive and social knowledge, acceptance of others, and an appreciation of individual/cultural differences.