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The Early Childhood Center

Founded in 1937, the Early Childhood Center (ECC) at Sarah Lawrence College was among the first college laboratory schools in the United States. It serves as a community school for children ages 2 to 6, drawing families from 15 local school districts. It provides an environment for students and faculty from Sarah Lawrence and other institutions to engage in fieldwork and student teaching.

The Child Development Institute

The Child Development Institute (CDI), founded in 1987, provides a forum for students, faculty, and parents to examine child development issues. Its recent public television films, When a Child Pretends, From Pictures to Words, When Values Go to School, and When Learning Comes Naturally have received national attention. It publishes occasional papers on topics of child development and education, and offers activities, distinguished lectures and conferences, and outreach programs. Some CDI programs offer in-service credit for teacher participants. Past lectures and conferences have explored the impacts of poverty, multiculturalism, social policy, and changing family structures on children and the educational process.

Saturday Seminars

The Art of Teaching Graduate Program’s Saturday Seminars brings Art of Teaching alumni, early childhood, and childhood educators to the Sarah Lawrence campus to consider what it is to learn and what it means to teach. We use the Prospect Descriptive Processes developed at the Prospect School and Center by Patricia F. Carini and others to help us make sense of the complexity of our work with children. An underlying theme that has emerged through each series across the years is the centrality of children’s making and doing as the essence of thinking and learning in childhood. Each year, our discussions center around a particular theme, and each session is structured by the reflections and feedback of the participants.

The Art of Teaching Film Series

The Educational Film Series aims to show current films that broaden our understandings of schools, highlight current issues in society, and spark discussion and dialogue. Documentary films by emerging and well known filmmakers are screened on Thursday evenings 4-5 times a year, followed by small group discussion and Q&A with the filmmaker, Sarah Lawrence faculty, or other guests. Films are available from the library after the screening. These events are free and open to the public!