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Douglass Psychlgy Child Study

26 Nichol Ave
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-2882

(732) 932-8881


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Puppets, flannel stories, Handwriting Without Tears materials
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Mathematical manipulatives
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
  • Legos, Magnetix
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Individualized science curriculum program
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Music instruction
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
  • Portfolios
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
  • Swing sets
Other subjects taught Our older classroom participates in an individualized science curriculum administered by the Graduate School of Applied Psychology. Music instruction is administered through the Westminster Music Conservatory.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

Our extremely low adult to child ratios allow for more personalized learning and care experiences. Our teachers are better able to individualize curriculum and learning experiences for the children in our program. Undergraduate and graduate students working in our program while pursuing their degrees are assigned to plan, implement and extend classroom learning experiences. Our affiliation with the University and the staff's access to University resources, including full tuition remission for graduate and doctoral programs, also promotes a higher level of professional development and expertise. The children in our program directly benefit from having highly qualified teachers administering their care and education.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

"The administration and teaching staff at the Douglass Psychology Child Study Center believe that young children acquire knowledge through active participation in the world, that is, by acting upon objects and people in their environments. This active participation may be represented by, (but not limited to): jumping, running, hopping, pouring, mixing, measuring, building, playing, painting, drawing, writing, reading, listening, talking, and questioning. Therefore, teachers must provide abundant materials that can be physically explored and adapted to the needs of the children in the group at any given time. The classroom schedule should have ample time for unstructured, child-directed activities so that children have time to pursue their own interests and formulate and test ideas about their world. Children also need time to reflect on their discoveries, so the schedule should also include a period of time for quiet reflection or in other words, time to daydream.
We believe that children come into the school environment with a pre-existing basis of knowledge with relation to their family and home life experiences. The school experience should encourage the sharing of this knowledge and incorporate it into the curriculum of each classroom and the school as a whole, wherever possible.
We believe that each child is a unique individual and that as such, individual children may acquire knowledge about the world in different ways, and in fact, may excel in different areas. This is a key component of Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory:
"We are not all the same; we do not all have the same kinds of minds (that is, we are not all distinct points on a single bell curve); and education works most effectively if these differences are taken into account rather than denied or ignored." (Gardner, Howard, p. 91 in Intelligence Reframed)
Therefore, the school curriculum should provide positive learning experiences that encompass various ways of learning such as visual, sensory, and auditory; as well as providing an environment that is rich in different learning materials. The curriculum should be diverse and offer learning experiences in math, science, social studies, writing, reading, music, art, social skills, and cultural tolerance. The NJ Core Curriculum Content Standard and the Early Childhood Education Program Expectations: Standards of Quality require this diversity as do guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
With this in mind, the role of the teacher and the school is to provide a safe, child-centered environment in which children may develop to their fullest potential socially, physically cognitively, emotionally, and linguistically. Children have the right to be respected as individuals with individual needs and the teacher-child relationship should reflect this right. Teachers should not attempt to pigeon-hole students into one particular style of learning. Similarly, children have the right to be respected by their peers and must be given the opportunity to contribute to the learning experiences of the classroom and the school. The school will recognize that children are valued individuals within their home communities and that they bring their unique experiences to the school community as a whole. The unique experiences of contributions of each child will be valued and looked upon as additional learning opportunities for the school as a whole."
Excerpted from the preschool's website

A Typical Day

7:30-9:00 Arrival/Inside Play and Self-Selected Learning Activities
9:00-9:30 Outside Play
9:30-9:45 Toileting
9:45-10:00 Morning Snack
10:00-10:30 Morning Circle Time (Shorter for younger group)
11:00-11:30 Diapering
10:30-11:30 Center Time
11:30-11:45 Clean Up/Toileting
11:45-12:15 Outside Play
12:15-12:30 Story Times/Toileting/Prep for Lunch
12:30-12:50 Lunch
12:50-1:00 Toileting/Prep for Nap
1-2:35 Nap Time
Quiet activities for children who do not fall asleep after ½ hr)
2:35-3:00 Wake Up/Toileting/Diapering
3:00-3:15 Afternoon Snack
3:25-3:30 Music/Movement Activities
3:30-3:45 Small Group Activities
3:45-4:00 Clean Up/Toileting
4:00-5:30 Outside Play (Daylight time permitting) or Self-Selected Learning Activities
5:00-5:15 Diapering
5:30-6:00 Preparation for Departure"
Excerpted from the preschool's website

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Teachers maintain child development portfolios for each child which are shared with parents specifically during parent-teacher conferences, as well as informally throughout the year. Monthly newsletters communicate information with regard to programming and special activities planned for the children and families. Weekly, a memo is distributed to parents to highlight special activities and events for the upcoming week. Snack menus, lesson plans and information regarding any staffing changes are also included in the weekly memo. Lesson plans and menus are also uploaded weekly to the Center's website. A password-protected portion of the website also shares digital photographs of the children engaged in classroom and playground activities, as well as powerpoint slideshows. The Director is President of the local chapter of the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children (largest NJ chapter with 600+ members). Support staff serve on the local board of directors for the NJAEYC local affiliate and participate in the organization's activities.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation

Handling Separation: From the Director

Our classrooms have observation rooms adjacent to them in which parents may observe classroom activities. Observation rooms are equipped with 2-way mirrors and sound systems so that parents may observe and hear the activities without being observed by the children. We have additional staff members on hand all year long to facilitate separations and to assist in transitioning the children into classroom activities.