Research & Practice

Programs at Eliot-Pearson challenge traditional curricula by providing students with a vibrant, interdisciplinary community dedicated to applied research. Students have opportunities to participate in applied research projects and ongoing research in one of the department's labs. The department's building boasts a collaborative learning environment designed for interdisciplinary research and innovation. The department also works closely with its own lab school, The Eliot-Pearson Children's School. Within the lab school are opportunities for professional development, direct observation of children, and applied research experience.

The department's signature emphasis on RPI (research-practice integration) is reflected in its commitment to developmental science, in the applied research of its faculty, in the grantsmanship and productivity of its research centers, institutes, and special programs, and in its community-based partnerships through which collaborative research and applied projects are implemented.

Central to the department's mission is helping students integrate coursework and research with direct practice 'in the field'. Direct practice can mean working in educational and healthcare settings, youth programs, and other environments where children and youth are continuously present and being served. It can also mean working in research, policy, and other places where children and youth may not be present or present only on occasion, but where the work being done directly affects the lives of children and youth, such as research labs assessing infants at risk for developing autism, and state agencies overseeing large programs for children and youth.