The CDL provides a research environment that fosters research and professional inquiry. Our intent is that through research conducted at the CDL, significant contributions can be made to education.

Thoughout the CDL's existence, research has been a vital component of our program.  Our lab school is here to support faculty, staff and students in their research endeavors.

On-going research includes teachers developing theories from their observation and classroom practices.  CDL teachers systematically undertake teacher action research and learn from and with young children and their families.

Research projects utilizing the CDL have been led by faculty and graduate students in a number of departments within the Colleges of Education, Arts & Sciences, and Family & Consumer Sciences. Information on specific research projects are listed twice a year in the Research Corner of the CDL Quarterly. While not all projects are listed in this publication, the descriptions provided serve as samples of projects undertaken each semester.

To request a copy of the current CDL Quarterly, please contact Program Coordinator Lori Maerz at

Completed Research Studies

Title of Study: The development of directional understanding
“The Use of Arrow Cues to Direct the Attention of Young Children”
Primary Investigator: Krisztina Varga
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Janet Frick

Title of Study: Rough and Tumble Play 
“Rough and Tumble Play”
Primary Investigator: Brandi Broker 
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Melissa Landers-Potts

Title of Study: Improving Prekindergarten Children's Comprehension of StoryBooks 
“Comprehension Study”
Primary Investigator: William Mira 
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Paula Schwanenflugel

Want to do research at the CDL?

Faculty or students wishing to conduct research at the CDL need to submit a research proposal application to the program director. Research proposals will be reviewed by a departmental advisory committee. The goal(s) of the research study, its relationship to the mission of the CDL as well as the number of active research projects with the proposed population will all be considered. Proposals for research projects must be approved by the departmental advisory committee and the University of Georgia’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) before their inception. Consent forms included in children's registration information permit their observation during naturally occurring classroom activities. Families' written consent must be secured if researchers plan to interview, photograph, or remove children from classrooms. Please review the policies and procedures if interested in conducting research at the Child Development Lab at the McPhaul Center.


Our teachers have presented at regional, national, and international conferences. In addition to presentations at conferences governed by such organizations as National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC), Georgia Association on Young Children (GAYC), Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), and International Reading Association (IRA).  Teachers have also collaborated with various faculty members, including Dr. Mariana Souto-Manning and Dr. Diane Bales, to write research studies and book chapters.