Current research at the Lab School

By Pam Miller, 3-afternoons Lead Teacher & Lab School Research Liaison

This fall, we have two new research studies working with your children. The research labs conducting these studies focus on different developmental areas, so it will be exciting to learn the results in the next couple of years and how those results influence early childhood education practices and how we teach at the Lab School.

One study is performed by the Institute of Child Development’s (ICD) Sera Lab and focuses on how young children learn multiple languages. Knowing more than one language has many developmental benefits and learning a second or third language as a child is the best time to develop linguistic skills. This study focuses on how children learn vocabulary words in a second language.

The second study is being carried out by the ICD Bioecology, Self-Regulation, and Learning (BSL) Lab. This study seeks to learn more about Executive Function (EF), a cognitive process developed throughout childhood and into early adulthood. Well developed EF is important for school readiness, because it affects skills such as focus and attention to a task, self-regulation, and critical thinking.

These two studies have great implications for developmental psychology and the education of young children. Like other research happening at the U of M and at other institutions around the world, we hope to use the results to provide the best education for your children.  If you have any questions or concerns about the studies, please contact Sheila at