Child and Family Studies

College of Education, Health & Human Sciences

Academic Programs: Find information about our undergraduate tracks, three Master’s options, and doctoral degree in Child and Family Studies.
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From Local to Global: Explore our national and international research endeavors.
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May 15, 2015

UT Early Learning Center to host Inaugural Early Learning Institute June 5-6

KNOXVILLE—On June 5 and 6, the Early Learning Center for Research and Practice at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will host the inaugural Early Learning Institute.

The two-day event will feature keynote speaker Richard Louv, author of “The Last Child in the Woods” and “The Nature Principle.” Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community.

“Early childhood practitioners, naturalists and other experts are encouraged to attend and explore rich ways to engage children in nature with this unique professional development opportunity,” said Robyn Brookshire, director of UT’s Early Learning Center for Research and Practice. “We’re thrilled that Richard Louv will discuss how families, schools and communities can build nature-rich lives.”

Additional featured speakers include Karen Worth, Dee Smith and Jeanne Goldhaber.

Worth is a professor of education at Wheelock College and has done extensive work in the area of science education. She has authored several notable publications on the topic, including the Young Scientist series. Additionally, Worth has been involved in a number of National Science Foundation projects leading efforts to support implementing inquiry-based science programs in schools.

Smith and Goldhaber will be sharing their unique experience with toddlers during their presentation, “The Woods as a Toddler Classroom: The Emotional Experience of Challenge, Connection and Caring.” The talk will highlight the experiences of the children, teachers and families involved in this unique context.

Workshop topics for the event include gardening with young children, supporting sensory exploration, photography and pedagogical documentation, birding, and natural learning initiatives.

In conjunction with the Early Learning Institute, an interactive exhibit called “Cultivate the Scientist in Every Child: The Philosophy of Frances and David Hawkins” will be on display at the Early Learning Center throughout the summer in partnership with UT Child and Family Studies.

Most Early Learning Institute Events will take place at the L&N STEM Academy in downtown Knoxville. Other activities and tours will take place on UT’s Knoxville campus.

Registration fees are $150 for both days or $85 for a single day, and include programming, lunch and a coffee break. For more information or to register, visit


Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,

A Message from Dr. Moran

Welcome to Child and Family Studies (CFS)! You will learn about the courses we teach, our research programs, the role of our department at the University of Tennessee, and how we provide service to our community, state, children, and families.

Our department prepares students for careers in both public and private domains that focus on children, youth, families, and early learning. A central foundation of our programs is the idea that scientific inquiry provides the most effective means to improve the welfare of children, youth, and families. Much of our curricula and research efforts are structured around focusing on children, youth, and at-risk families.

One hallmark of both our undergraduate and graduate programs is the opportunity for outreach and engagement experiences in area communities. Students complete intensive semester long experiences in a wide range of community placements including mental health, medical facilities, public and private schools, and intervention programs, to name a few. A second category of opportunity is to join a research team of faculty and students. Many of our research teams conduct research locally and globally with immigrant populations, programs that serve young children at risk for learning, and youth faced with the challenges of an incarcerated family member. We invite you to call and schedule a time to visit our programs and faculty.

Links from this website allow you to access information about our undergraduate and graduate programs. Contact Us with any questions and please explore our website to become even more acquainted with the Department of Child and Family Studies!

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