The Onica Prall Child Development Laboratory School is operated by the Hood College Department of Education. The preschool provides an education for children who are three and four years old. In addition, the school serves as a learning laboratory and field placement site for Hood students pursuing teacher certification in Early Childhood Education. Class sizes remain small, fewer than 13 children, to insure ample opportunities for teacher interaction and learning for each student. Ideally classes will include an equal proportion of boys and girls. Hood students have opportunities to observe children, curriculum and best teaching practices. Hood College students also develop professional skills while working in the Laboratory School classroom.
The purposes of the preschool program are:
- To give 3- and 4-year-old children meaningful experiences through which to develop intellectual, social, and physical abilities.
- To provide classrooms in which college students can observe and work with young children and their families.*
- To increase families’ understanding of their children through observations and conferences with the staff of the Laboratory School.
- To provide a laboratory setting for the testing of existing teaching methods, and for the creation of new methods for educating young children and prospective teachers.
*Observation is one of the components of the program; Hood College students enrolled in EDUC 223, 224 and 324 will be involved in observing the children as part of the course curriculum.