Ongoing Projects

Project: Books and Social Development Project

Department: Department of Psychology
Principle Investigator: Dr. Jamie Ostrov

Abstract: This project is an eight-session project. Its main purpose is to explore how exposure to different types of children’s books may impact young children’s social behavior and get a better understanding of young children’s social development, particularly their friendship development, experiences of aggression, prosocial behavior, and peer interaction.

At the beginning of the project, classroom teachers will be provided a list of anti-bullying books recommended by both parents and teachers and will be asked to read some of these books for their students. Researchers will then investigate preschoolers’ peer relationship, friendships, and social development, especially young children’s sharing and helping behavior as well as aggressive behavior and social exclusion behavior in the classroom.

In the meanwhile, that peer relationship preschoolers have and how these relationships are related to their social development will be assessed.

Finally, the impact of these anti-bullying books on children’s social behavior will be evaluated. Participating families and teachers will each receive a newsletter that summarizes the results of this project and recent findings related to the social behavior of young children.

Project: Visual Arts Program and Young Children’s Artistic Appreciation and Expression

Department: Learning & Instruction/ECRC
Principal Investigator: Dr. X. Christine Wang

Abstract: ECRC is implementing a visual-artist in residence program. Our project is designed to understand young children’s artistic appreciation and expression and how the program impacts their development.

We focus on the following questions:

  1. How do preschoolers appreciate different kinds of arts? How does it change as a result of a visual art program?
  2. What are preschoolers’ understanding of different visual art concepts?
  3. What are children’s artistic decision for their own painting?

The research data include interviews of children, teachers and visual artist, and videotaped visual art sessions.