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Research and Programs

Early Learning Center for Research and Practice

teacher reading to student
The Early Learning Center program exists to facilitate the academic mission of the Department of Child and Family Studies, which is part of the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

Give to Early Learning Center Funds



The Relationship of Technology and Inquiry graphicTeacher Research and Documentation Center

“Developing Scientists in the Classroom
The Teacher Research and Documentation Center (TRDC) is a laboratory designed to educate practitioners as researchers and to develop critical thinking along with knowledge about how children learn best. The integration and implementation of research and practice in the field is the cornerstone of inquiry-oriented teacher practice. The TRDC is a place for students and teachers to utilize technology and access mentoring in order to develop research skills that inform and guide practice. Learn more about Developing Scientists in the Classroom



The Center for Parenting

center for parenting logoThe Center for Parenting (C4P) at the University of Tennessee is a collaborative effort between the Department of Child and Family Studies and UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences, co-directed by Heidi Stolz and Heather Wallace. The mission of the C4P is to strengthen parent-child relationships by coordinating and enriching existing parent education efforts in Tennessee. C4P offers many networking and coordinating services such as the Tennessee Parent Educator (TPE) Directory, an online class calendar with postings of parenting/family classes, a curriculum database, and the C4Pnews listserv which sends out quarterly e-newsletters about research, training opportunities, and parent education developments on the state and national levels. Learn more about The Center for Parenting

Visit the C4P’s official website

The Early Experiences Research Center

african american childThe Early Experiences Research Center (EERC) is a laboratory designed to examine the experiences of infants and young children in multiple and diverse contexts. Research in the EERC is conducted in contexts that represent diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds of families, as well as the multiple ways in which children are cared for in both formal (childcare, school) and informal settings. Each EERC project is tied together by the commitment to represent the contexts and needs of infants and young children in underrepresented and high-risk contexts. Learn more about The Early Experiences Research Center

The EERC is co-directed by Hillary Fouts and Julia Jaekel and is located in the Department of Child and Family Studies, Jesse Harris Building, Room 116. We are always looking for undergraduate and graduate students that are interested in joining our research team. To learn more about opportunities at the EERC call us  at 974-3521 or e-mail Hillary Fouts.

Well-Being in Adolescents and Emerging Adults


The Well-Being in Adolescents and Emerging Adults (WAE) Laboratory was formed in August of 2014 by Elizabeth Johnson and Spencer Olmstead to integrate their complementary lines of research and to further the study of well-being among young people between the ages of ten and twenty-five. Specific areas of interest and study include psychosocial well-being in the context of parental incarceration, the implications of daily stress exposure and reactivity for mental and physical health, emerging adult health-risk behaviors, and sexual health education and intervention during the transition to college.