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Developmental & Learning Sciences Research Center

The mission of the Developmental & Learning Sciences Research Center (DLSRC) is to improve developmental and learning outcomes for learners of all ages by generating research, educational experiences, and applications using an emergent, interdisciplinary approach to understanding development and learning that includes the integration of theory and research from the fields of developmental psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and education.

The DLSRC is designed to support synergistic activities between the Arlitt Center, Early Childhood Education & Human Development faculty, university-wide faculty (e.g., Psychology; Communication Sciences & Disorders), and Children’s Hospital. Goals include engaging in research at the Arlitt Center, including the lab school and the PlayScape initiative, and its community of children and families, and collaborating on grant writing, and pedagogical innovation. The Center serves as an administrative home to the Research Activity Management System (RAMS), which serves as the undergraduate research subject pool for the School of Education.

Current faculty and student research includes investigations concerning educational neuroscience and mathematical cognition (Dr. Rhonda Brown), the interaction of motivational mechanisms and learning (Dr. Marcus Johnson), and effective learning environments for developing educators (Professor Harry Prats).

Community & Collaboration

Throughout the academic calendar, Dr. Marcus Johnson hosts special events for his large lecture Human Development courses, inviting guests from various disciplines to speak to his students on a diverse array of subjects pertinent to Human Development (i.e. developmental criminology, pediatrics, current research on play, geriatrics, hospice services, etc.). In April 2013, Dr. Johnson hosted a panel of speakers with expertise in secondary and post-secondary education. Jenni Jacobs is an instructor for online courses offered through the School of Education and provided insights into the attitudes and behaviors of “nontraditional” college students. Katie Kemme is an English teacher at Hughes High School and responded to students’ inquiries about what makes educational professions worthwhile and fulfilling. UC’s own Dr. Chet Laine and Dr. Helen Meyer from the secondary education faculty also participated as panelists, sharing their philosophies and approaches to teacher education, as well as providing practical advice for those interested in education professions.

In May 2011, the Center hosted a day-long Summit on Transactions between Research and Practice in the Developmental and Learning Sciences with researchers at UC and Children’s Hospital, graduate students, and teachers and other members of the education community. Speakers included: Dr. Dennis Molfese, a co-director of the NIH Reading & Learning Disabilities Research Network and Director of the Brain Imaging Center and Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Nebraska; Dr. Victoria Molfese, Chancellor’s Professor of Child, Youth & Family Studies at the University of Nebraska who spoke on their research in early identification of infants and young children at risk for developing language and reading disabilities and the effect of early intervention. Dr. Gregory K. Martin, Academic Dean and director of Pedagogical Growth and Development at the Cincinnati Country Day School and Dr. Jeremiah McCall, author of Gaming the Past: Using Video Games to Teach Secondary Students spoke on their work on 21st century teaching and learning, the changes nature of the classroom, the nature of play in education, and the use of games as learning tools.