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Children's School

What is a "Laboratory School"?

At Mills College, being a "lab" school means we are an student teacherintegral part of the School of Education and its mission to prepare early childhood professionals and future elementary school teachers. Graduate students have the opportunity to work with head teachers at the Children’s School, who are committed to current best teaching practices.

The Children's School has an outstanding teaching and administrative staff that attracts both graduate students and families who are interested in quality early childhood and elementary school education for their children. We operate within the School of Education's design and its unique commitment to a teacher-preparation model exemplified by:

  • depth and integration of a constructivist model of theory and practice,
  • intensive mentoring,
  • reflection, and
  • a mutually engaged learning community of children, families, teachers, administrators, student teachers, and department faculty.

MCCS has a permanent staff of highly-qualified master teachers, all of whom have graduate degrees or commensurate years in the classroom and professional credentials. These master teachers work collaboratively with the College faculty to provide a setting in which graduate students combine their own classroom assignments and investigations in learning with the challenge of creating environments in which children are able to construct knowledge in an increasingly sophisticated and thoughtful manner.

Our student teachers are careful observers of children's learning and document their own work in modes that are accessible to families and visitors, as well as to their instructors and head teachers. These dedicated students are preparing for a variety of careers, including early childhood and elementary school teaching, college-level teaching, school administration, research, early childhood special education, and child life in healthcare settings. Their presence makes possible a quality ratio of adults to children that allows for careful observation and documentation in child development and learning theory.

We interact with members of the School of Education for advice, resources, support, and encouragement. Mills College itself provides our buildings and grounds, upkeep, technology support, public safety, and access to an array of resources, woods, trails, and open spaces, as well as expertise in many varied areas.
MCCS teachers and administrators present workshops, classes, and scholarly research as part of the laboratory's role in expanding the knowledge of learning and teaching. College faculty members consult with the staff on curriculum development, issues of public and educational policy, and engage in research in the school. Members of our teaching staff write for our annual journal, Reflections, as well as for other educational publications.



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Last Updated: 6/19/15