Founded in 1937 by Lois Murphy, an internationally renowned expert in personality development, the Early Childhood Center was among the first laboratory schools in the United States. It provides an environment for students and faculty from Sarah Lawrence and other institutions to conduct on-site research in the fields of normal personality and child development. It also works to provide a richly textured educational environment for children ages 2 through 6 who come from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The Child Development Institute
The Child Development Institute, founded in 1987, provides a forum for students, faculty, and parents to examine topics on child development. It offers activities, lectures, conferences, and outreach programs. Past lectures and conferences, for example, have explored the impacts of poverty, multiculturalism, social policy, and changing family structures on children and the educational process. It also established the “Empowering Teachers of Children Placed at Risk” project. This is a highly successful, nationally recognized program of intensive summer training and follow-up workshops in which teachers consider a variety of challenges facing children, families, and schools, and explore meaningful classroom practices that can improve their ability to deal with children placed at risk.