Mission Statement

The Department of Family and Child Studies creates a community of engagement around the capacity for learning and competence of children. By exploring how children develop and learn in context, we prepare professionals who work with children and families across a variety of settings. We are constructivist and inspired by the pedagogical practices of Reggio Emilia. We aspire to create professionals who consider the cultures within which the child grows and develops. Students are supported in developing sensitivity to all through critical thinking and community engagement. By embracing our obligation to create healthy, just and sustainable societies, our students are equipped to be knowledgeable, compassionate and dedicated in their professional endeavors; to respond to others with humility, and to recognize the dignity of all.

Vision Statement

We envision a world in which all professionals who work with children understand and respect children as competent beings and families are recognized as children's first and most important teachers. To paraphrase the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance, we believe that intelligent children deserve intelligent practitioners. Through our community of practice, we seek to develop reflective practitioners and communities, who recognize and intentionally support children's construction of knowledge, feelings, and identity collaboratively with the other children and adults in their lives. We strive to be recognized as both a resource and collaborator for the creation of sustainable communities for children and families both within and outside the Appalachian community.


In order to meet our vision of creating intelligent practitioners, we will:

  • Engage in and promote action research and scholarship of service o Maintain high-quality Communities of Practice
  • Engage ourselves and students in transdisciplinary practice through collaboration with local agencies and programs
  • Establish partnerships with community organizations both within the classroom and within our scholarship
  • Create college and early childhood classrooms that foster intentional investigations and reflection regarding children's learning about self and the physical and social worlds
  • Create, implement, and utilize evidence-based practices that support the competence of children and families
  • Advocate for the special rights of children and families
  • Utilize the local culture as a springboard for understanding issues of social justice and cultural diversity
  • Promote the competence of children and families with our students, the university, the local community, and beyond
  • Establish Lucy Brock Child Development Laboratory Program (LBCDLP) as a center for excellence and a resource for learning about Reggio inspired practices.

Alignment with the RCOE Conceptual Framework

II. Cultivating Communities of Practice

  2. Parkway Collaborative Classroom
  3. Faculty community involvement
  4. Transdisciplinary practices
  5. Action research

III. Advancing Professional Knowledge

  1. Parkway Collaborative Classroom
  2. Development of the whole child in the context of the family
  3. Faculty community involvement
  4. Action research
  5. Conference presentations
  6. Publications

IV. Developing Expertise in our Fields through Reflection and Inquiry

  2. Practicum and Internships
  3.  Advocacy
  4. The importance of risk taking
  5. Focus on reflective and intentional practice
  6. Action research

V. Promoting a Core Set of Professional and Ethical Dispositions

  1. Practicum and Internships
  2. Advocacy
  3. Child Advocacy Club (CAC)
  4. Student attendance at conferences and other professional experiences


Family and Child Studies teacher education programs share in institutional accreditation by NCATE, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.