Evidence-informed Research Themes

Research Focus Areas

As an integral part of their mission to support young children’s health, development, learning and wellbeing, the center’s transdisciplinary faculty are committed to advancing the following areas of research:

Policy Development and Analysis

Center faculty create, validate and share knowledge that informs policy. They serve in leadership and advisory roles on federal, state and community boards, and organizations dedicated to early childhood development and learning. Many faculty members examine the effects of policies to discover what is working and under which conditions.

Promotion, Prevention, and Intervention Practices

Center faculty design, implement and evaluate innovative, science-based practices for improving early childhood development, and learning and supporting practitioners and families to implement these practices in authentic settings. With families and practitioners through the center’s partnership with Baby Gator Child Development and Research Center, and the Children’s Health, Imagination, Learning and Discovery (CHILD) Center, and other early education and care partners we take on real-world challenges with cycles of knowledge, implementation, and feedback that impacts children and families in communities in Florida, across the nation, and beyond.

Learning Sciences and Neuroscience

Through transdisciplinary work that is collaborative and multifaceted, center faculty are building approaches to applying research in the learning sciences to advance practice, design evidenced-informed tools and equip families and caregivers with solutions that leverage every child’s motivations to learn and grow in everyday activities and routines.

Embedded instruction for early learning – an approach to instruction that promotes child engagement and learning in everyday activities, routines and transitions.

Early childhood assessment – tools and strategies to support informed decision making about children’s development and learning, the quality of early childhood environments and the implementation of evidence-based interactional or teaching practices.

Family support – fostering family or caregiver capacity to enrich interactions that benefit early childhood development and learning.

Professional development – practice-based coaching and other research-based strategies to enhance the knowledge and skills of practitioners and caregivers.

Social-emotional and behavioral – building young children’s social-emotional competence and preventing or addressing challenging behavior.