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2018 Transformative Learning Conference

March 8–9, 2018

Oklahoma City, OK


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Communicating Transformative Learning through a Lab

Friday, March 9, 2018 at 3:30 PM–4:00 PM CST

Summary: The Child Study Center is an active learning lab for Guidance of the Young Child class with required lab hours for FLE, ECED, and is required for graduate students as a prerequisite. Others areas who utilize the lab include speech and hearing, assessments, deaf school, and for community tours of the program as a cutting edge example. To provide TL experiences that can be measured, eight of the many guidance techniques discussed in class to focus on are selected as the more specific ones to for observation and evaluation during the students time in the Center. Students submit a personal reflection response each time, get regular feedback from Ms. Cristy and a Q/A in class with Ms. Cristy and Ms. Angela on 2 occasions. There is a specific question regarding the value of the experience and to reflect on the growth they noticed at the end of the semester.

Outcome1: The student will become more aware of the relationship between theory and practice regarding guidance of young children

Outcome2: The student will recognize the value of developmentall appropriate practice in developing curriculum and arranging space for young children.


Abstract: A University Laboratory School allows teachers to research educational theories and curriculums, and directly apply them to the children in the classroom.  Laboratory Schools also provides students who attend the university with the opportunity to gain experience working with young children directly (Hall, Peden, & Maurer, 2017).  The Child Study Center at UCO provides students and teachers with a University Laboratory School, that allows students to experience active learning.  Students enrolled in Guidance of the Young Child are required to attend and participate in the Child Study Center every week as part of an active learning lab.  Students are exposed to a setting where they can observe, interact with, and study 3-4-year-old children, in an environment, which applies different teaching strategies that are developmentally appropriate. Active learning requires students to reflect on what they are doing, in order for students to gain a deeper understanding on what they are learning through experience. After each time in the Child Study Center, students submit a personal reflection describing what they observed and what guidance techniques were used during their time spent in the Center. Personal reflections provide learning experiences that can be measured by the students participating in the Center and also by the teacher who offers feedback.  When transformative learning takes place in a lab along with lectures, students are able to take the information learned in class and immediately apply it to a real-world setting.  Results show that students who attend an active learning laboratory will become more aware of the relationship between theory and practice regarding guidance of young children.  Students will also recognize the value of developmentally appropriate practice in developing curriculum and arranging space for young children. Teachers, university students, and pre-school age students can all benefit from an active learning lab.


Hall, H. H., Peden, G. J., & Maurer, W. T. (2017). Assessing birth to age 5 teaching methods at a university labratory. Journal of Research and Child Education, 31, 270-280.

North Carolina Central University. (N.d.). Child development labratory. Retrieved from

The Emergence of Emergent Curriculum. (2012). NAEYC Young Children

Format of Presentation

30-Minute Roundtable Session

Conference Thread(s)

Communicating Transformative Learning

Primary Presenter

Kaye Sears, University of Central Oklahoma

Secondary Presenters

Cristy Smith, University of Central Oklahoma