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Research at the Children's School

Childhood Development
At the Children's School, some of the world's most renowned developmental and cognitive psychologists have explored what children know at an early age and how this knowledge influences later learning. They've tried to understand such processes as children's knowledge of numbers, problem solving and memory for spatial locations.
Research at the Children's School is a positive experience for the child, because children enjoy the one-to-one contact with the researcher. Research is done in an informal, activity-based mode which does not disrupt the school day. The researcher shares the general results of the project with the teachers so that the knowledge may be integrated into the program.
In addition to the doctoral and post-doctoral students who conduct research studies at the Children's School, several renowned childhood development scientists, including Janet Davidson, Sylvia Farnham-Diggory, Carl Granrud, Mark Johnson, David Klahr, Brian MacWhinney, Robert Siegler and Catherine Sophian have taken advantage of the school's unique setup. Over the years, research findings have produced interesting and sometimes surprising results. Following are just two examples:

Finger Counting's Effect on Math
Contrary to popular belief, finger counting can help children add and subtract. When a good student can't remember an answer from addition and subtraction tables, he or she counts fingers as a backup. But mediocre students have poor finger counting skills. Every teacher we've [talked to] has told us that telling children not to use their fingers doesn't work. We think children are right to do this because if you don't know the answer very well, then it's better to be right than wrong.
Excerpt from a study published in 1989 by Robert Siegler,
psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University.

Infant Recognition
Human infants as young as nine minutes old know something about faces. The study I've done suggests infants have some innate knowledge about faces. Although this knowledge may be very coarse, such as the infant being able to detect three blobs in the correct relative locations for the eyes and mouth, this knowledge is sufficient to ensure that some immature parts of the brain become specialized for processing more detailed information about faces. Prior to this study it was thought infants could not do this.
Excerpt from a study published in 1991 by Mark Johnson,
psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University.