Child Studies Program

Professor Emerita: Eleanor W. Willemsen

Professors: Barbara M. Burns (Director), Timothy C. Urdan

Associate Professors: Carol Ann Gittens, Brett J. Solomon

Senior Lecturer: Elizabeth Day

The Child Studies Program offers a degree program leading to the bachelor of science in child studies. The child studies major is designed for undergraduates interested in a career working with children in a school or community-based setting. The curriculum is designed for students interested in careers in elementary-school teaching, social work, counseling, family law, directing child care programs, speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, or nonprofit agencies that provide community services to children and families. Students with a B.S. in child studies are prepared to go on to postgraduate studies related to their career goals such as teacher credential programs/graduate programs in education as well as postgraduate programs such as master's degree programs in psychology, social work, or other fields. Advisors in child studies can provide information about teaching credential programs and many other vocations requiring further graduate or professional school education.

Requirements for the Major

In addition to fulfilling Undergraduate Core Curriculum requirements for the bachelor of science degree, students majoring in child studies must complete the following program requirements:

  • CHST 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 75, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105, 106 (ELSJ), 181, 182

  • PSYC 2, 185 (ELSJ)

  • Two electives selected from: CHST 66, 109, 111, 114, 138, 190, 191, 199; PSYC 134, 172

Lower-Division Courses

3. Child Studies

Designed to cultivate critical awareness, thinking, and action with respect to children and families in schools and broader communities. The course fosters an understanding of social justice issues related to children and youth in schools and communities, historical movements and organizational structures within education, and the emerging professions of child studies. (4 units)

4. Cultural Competence and Humility with Children and Families

Cultural competence and humility taken together allow us to better communicate, listen, teach, learn, support, and lead in multiple contexts. Becoming culturally competent requires the critical development of awareness, attitudes, knowledge, and skills that create supportive and transformative interactions when working with children and families within diverse environments. This course is designed to cultivate knowledge of self and others while also promoting a formative anti-oppression framework. Through readings, films, discussion, and trainings, we will devote ourselves to the rigorous examination of personal, interpersonal, and systemic/structural racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, and religious discrimination toward the pursuit of social justice with children and families. (4 units)

6. Information Literacy in Child Studies

An introduction to a wide variety of databases and Internet sources useful in preparing papers, presentations, workshops, grant proposals, and informing oneself and others about a topic. Students will also be taught to regard these sources of information as unequal in value and how to assess the value of a particular source. These skills will be used toward preparing a course project. (4 units)

11. Quantitative Research Methods and Statistics in Child Studies

An introduction to research methods and exploratory data analysis, descriptive statistics, probability, sampling, estimation, and statistical inference. Work problems are focused on how statistics are used in evaluating and understanding questions about children in school and community settings. Statistical software is included in course. Prerequisite: CHST 6. (4 units)

12. Qualitative Research Methods and Statistics in Child Studies

An introduction to qualitative research methods and analysis with a focus on the case study method, in-depth interviews, naturalistic observations, and focus groups. Focus is on research questions related to evaluating and understanding issues related to children and families. Emphasis is on observation, interviewing, and reflection skills. Prerequisite: CHST 6. (4 units)

66. Movement Education

An exploration of movement as a primary site of learning and meaning-making for children and youth. Students learn how to facilitate learning in the conceptual/cognitive, affective/socio-emotional, and psychomotor/kinesthetic domains, and reflect critically on the teaching process. Course culminates in student-led collaboratively designed lessons taught to children from neighboring K--8 schools. (4 units)

75. Technology and Education

Explores the relationship between technology, society, and education. Students investigate the appropriate role of technology in educational reform, evaluate the personal impact of social media on children and adolescents, and propose solutions to the pressing educational needs of our society. Interactive and engaging discussions and team projects highlight the dynamic quality of these issues. (4 units)

Upper-Division Courses

100. Advanced Writing for Research in Social Sciences

Explores quantitative and qualitative social science research on children, youth, and families, with a focus on the relationship between a research problem, the exploration of that problem, and the inferences that can be drawn from empirical inquiry. Students engage in close readings of scholarly articles while planning and participating in lessons to support collective learning. Emphasis on the development of skills in social science writing for academic audiences. Prerequisite: CHST 6 or permission from instructor. (5 units)

101. Infancy and Early Childhood

An overview of theory and research on infancy and early childhood (ages 0--5) with a focus on what practitioners need to know to support and promote social-emotional, perceptual-motor, intellectual, and language development. This course requires participation in community-based learning experiences off campus. (5 units)

102. Middle Childhood

An interdisciplinary examination of children in middle childhood (ages 5--12). The focus is on the child in family, school, community, and global contexts. This course requires participation in community-based learning experiences off campus. Prerequisite: CHST 100 or permission of instructor. (5 units)

104. Advocacy for Children

An overview of child advocacy and the study of child abuse and neglect within a risk and resilience framework. Emphasis is on prevention/intervention strategies and the translation of scientific evidence to school and community settings. This course requires participation in community-based learning experiences off campus. Prerequisite: CHST 100 or permission of instructor. (5 units)

105. Mindfulness in Child Studies

Explores current research on the efficacy of mindfulness strategies applied in school and community settings. Students critically reflect on how the development of one's inter and intra-personal intelligences directly impact how one responds to children's diverse contexts, categories of difference, and society's structural inequities. Students engage in mindfulness practices to foster the skills necessary to be culturally competent leaders and advocates. Prerequisite: CHST 100 or permission of instructor. (5 units)

106. Urban Education and Multiculturalism

The American ideal of equal educational opportunity is at odds with the persistent reality of the "achievement gap" between those students in affluent suburban schools and their counterparts in urban schools. This course focuses on education in large urban contexts, with a particular emphasis on students from low-income environments. Ethnicity and class are two critical lenses that examine the reasons for: (a) historical contexts underlying education in urban contexts; (b) lack of cultural competence, school failure, underachievement, and the preschool to prison pipeline; and (c) the politics and policy of education reform. This course requires participation in community-based learning experiences off campus. (5 units)

109. Children, Art, and Society

This course allows students to investigate the role of art and creativity in human development and understand the personal and societal impact of accessible, high-quality, embodied arts experiences. The way the arts creates a path for more justice in the world, democratizes the classroom for English language learners, gracefully assists with classroom management, and fosters higher order thinking is explored, as is the notion of public schools offering all arts to all students. Student learning in this course culminates with transdisciplinary perspectives, acknowledging the powerful complexity and potential of the arts to serve as a bridge between diverse fields and perspectives creating new epistemologies. Final research papers have students investigating arts education efforts and organizations dedicated to the most pressing issues of our time (democracy, peace, diplomacy, the environment, migration, economic and social disparities, etc.), and offering imaginative analysis of ways to better serve the human family, particularly children and youth, via generative, creative, artful solutions. (5 units)

111. Cultural Immersion in Child Studies

A high-impact, formational immersion experience working with disadvantaged youth. Students will work in a mentor/mentee relationship using such healing modalities as nature immersion, drama, art, and music. Students discuss first hand issues related to human dignity, poverty, resilience, and transformation. Students cultivate a deeper sense of purpose and a clear personal statement regarding their role in fostering local and global peace. Enrollment by application only. Prerequisites: CHST 100 and 106. (5 units)

114. Parenting

Investigates parent-child relations from infancy through early adulthood with an emphasis on the social, cultural, and environmental forces that have an impact upon family dynamics. Reviews current research on parenting styles and practices, discipline, parent-child interactions, attachment, and the family context with an emphasis on professional implications for promoting local and global child health and well-being. Prerequisite: CHST 100 or permission of instructor. (5 units)

138. Exceptional Child

Introduction to childhood mental retardation, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, communication (speech and language) disorders, hearing impairments, physical and health impairments, severe handicaps, and the gifted and talented. The impact of these differences in comparison with typical development is addressed. This course requires participation in community-based learning experiences off campus. Prerequisite: CHST 100 or permission of instructor. (5 units)

181. Senior Capstone I

This course provides students with the opportunity to develop a research project and learn through direct engagement with children in school, family, or community settings. Students will be guided as they review the literature, devise a research question, and design and pilot research procedures. Prerequisites: Senior status; CHST 100. This course is taught in the fall quarter and requires participation in community-based learning experiences off campus. (5 units)

182. Senior Capstone II

Students will complete their research project developed in CHST 181 including data collection and analysis, writing a research paper in APA style, and presenting a research poster. Prerequisites: Senior status; CHST 100 and 181. This course is taught in the winter quarter and requires participation in community-based learning experiences off campus. (5 units)

190. Resilient Families

A community-engaged guided research experience focused on promoting well-being and resilience in children and families. 50 hours of research for 1 credit. May be repeated for credit. Permission of instructor required. P/NP only. (1--2 units)

191. Internship in Child Studies

Field experience in a school, human service, or community organization. Open to CHST majors in advance standing with permission of faculty internship instructor and CHST program director. Application for participation must be completed in quarter before enrollment. Class meetings and 80 hours at site. P/NP only. (5 units)

196. Future Teachers Project Seminar

A seminar addressing education and the teaching profession for students participating in the Future Teachers Project. May be repeated for credit. (1 unit)

199. Directed Reading/Directed Research

Independent study or supervised research project with a faculty sponsor from CHST. Requires a written proposal and approval by both the faculty sponsor and the CHST program director. Proposal for enrollment is due before finals week of the previous quarter. (1--5 units)

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