Having recently undergone a move and expansion, the University of North Texas’ Child Development Laboratory has increased the opportunities for students to research the growth, development, learning and engagement of children.
The lab now boasts four classrooms, instead of two, for its early childhood program within the College of Education. The facility moved from UNT’s Matthews Hall to near Apogee Stadium at the first of the year.
“The renovations provide increased opportunity for observation of children as they learn and play,” said Bertina Combes, interim dean of the College of Education.
She said that in the previous facility students assigned to observe did so from a dark observation booth.
“The space restrictions limited the number of individuals who could observe, but now each of the four classrooms is equipped with a camera that will allow off-site observation of the teaching and learning environment,” said Combes.
She added that the move to the new facility will allow the lab to serve more children, with capacity now being about 70. The previous site could only accommodate 40 children.
“We now have two more classrooms and two play therapy rooms on-site,” said Combes. “Faculty teaching designated courses will eventually have the capacity to use livestream video.”
The history of the Child Development Lab dates back to around 1926 when the lab was part of the university’s School of Home Economics. Portions of the school were merged with the College of Education in 1989. The laboratory was initially housed in small buildings across campus. Two specialized classrooms, equipped for 12 children each, were designed for the lab when Matthew Hall as built in 1960. Today it provides a high-quality preschool program, learning opportunities for students and an increased ability to meet the needs of faculty and graduate students.