Research and Observation
The Child Development and Family Center provides care and education to children ages 3 months to 5 years. We are pleased to cooperate with requests made for observation, participation and research at our facilities. Our classrooms are located in our main building on Annie Glidden Road and our annex, located in Gabel Hall.
Interested faculty and students should familiarize themselves with our mission statement and curriculum, and agree to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Students must be enrolled in a course sponsored by a faculty member.
- Groups of observers must have a sponsor who is responsible for the group while observing.
- Faculty and students may not take photographic images or record children without child informed consent and written consent from the child’s legal guardian.
- Photographic images or recordings may not be published unless written consent has been obtained from a legal guardian.
- Children’s last names may not be used outside the program, either in written reports or with photographs.
- Children who are tired, restless or otherwise unwilling to participate in an activity should not be forced to do so, and the activity rescheduled as necessary.
- Faculty requesting student involvement with the center should explain confidentiality regulations to their students and verify on the application that students are aware of these regulations.
We define observation as a systematic way to look at and record children’s behavior. Observation does not include interaction with children or access to classrooms. Faculty members who wish for their students to use the center for observation must complete an observation application (PDF).
- Observers must check in at the main office and show a photo ID. If observing in Gabel Hall, visit room 169 to check in.
- Students may observe children from classroom observation booths or from outside the fence area when children are on the playground.
- The best times to observe are between 7:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 and 5 p.m. (12:30 to 2:30 p.m. is nap time).
- Photos with children’s first names and birthdates, as well as daily classroom schedules, are posted in observation booths.
- Universal jacks are installed in observation booths for students to use with their personal headphones. Students may also check out a headset from the main office.
While observing, students must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Keep information obtained during observation confidential.
- Remain quiet while observing; do not engage in conversation with other observers.
- Do not bring food or drink (other than water) into the observation booth.
- Do not take pictures or video of children.
- Turn off cell phones.
- Leave the lights off.
- Do not tap on the glass.
We define participation as observing or completing an activity within a classroom and/or interacting with children for a specific purpose. Participation activities must be reviewed and approved by the center prior to being scheduled. Faculty members who wish for their students to use the center for participation activities must complete a participation application (PDF). The center will contact the faculty member and student to inform them of the approval or denial of their request.
- The faculty member and student should be prepared to facilitate the activity and follow center policies.
- Students completing a participation activity are required to check in at the main office, sign the visitor log and wear a name tag while in the classroom.
We define research as a systematic investigation with the purpose of generating new knowledge or validating existing information. Faculty members or students interested in conducting research at the center must submit a research application (PDF) for review by our advisory board. For class research projects, an application must be filled out by the faculty member who plans to oversee the project. Research projects must comply with NIU research guidelines and receive approval from the center’s advisory board and/or the Institution Review Board. The advisory board will determine the appropriateness of proposed projects and deny any project that could hinder the education, development or well-being of our children.
- Written permission must be obtained from parents if researchers plan to interview or photograph children, or to remove them from their classrooms.
- Children’s names may not be used when research is reported.