What is a Research Laboratory?

The Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory (CDL) provides opportunities for research on children, families, and teacher education to UNL faculty, students, and affiliated professionals. The CDL strives to develop new and relevant knowledge about children's development and relationships, families, and teacher education through research that addresses significant current issues and questions.

Cutting-edge facilities and equipment are available for research projects. A child development research lab is equipped with digital video recording equipment and two cameras that are monitored and controlled from an adjacent office. The research lab is ideal for research involving assessments of children using specific protocols, or that require completion of tasks without the distractions of other classroom activities. This facility is also well-suited for research on family or peer interactions.

The two classrooms are also equipped with digital video recording equipment, and cameras are controlled from observation booths with one-way mirrors. This equipment enables researchers to collect data focusing on naturalistic observations of children.

Faculty and students who are interested in conducting research at the CDL should read the Guidelines for Research in the Ruth Staples Child Development Lab and contact the Research Director, Dr. Julia Torquati. Undergraduate students who are interested in research experience should contact a faculty member who is involved in a current research project (below) or another faculty member who is willing to supervise a research project. Undergraduate students often receive support for their research through the UCARE (Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences) program.

For more information, contact Dr. Julia Torquati.

License & Accreditation

The Ruth Staples Child Development Lab (CDL) is licensed by the state of Nebraska and accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The program must continually meet all criteria set down by both entities and it is the responsibility of all teachers to be familiar with these criteria. Adherence to licensing and accreditation criteria is considered as a part of faculty annual evaluations.