Fall 2012: Child Development

This is the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which established land-grant universities like Texas A&M University throughout the United States. Consistent with the land-grant mission of our university, the teaching, research and service activities of the College of Education and Human Development transform the lives of individuals in our state and across the nation.

The healthy development of our children is of critical importance to the future of our state and nation. In this publication, you will have an opportunity to learn about the significant work of our faculty and students to address a diversity of issues that impact child development.

The issue of bullying in today’s public school classrooms has become a widespread topic addressed in a variety of forums, including special TV programs, educational blogs and social media. We know that in order for children to feel safe at school, administrators, teachers and school-aged peers need to have the tools and information available to reduce the frequency and impact of bullying.

The same can be said for the short- and long-term effects of childhood obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 3 children is obese or overweight before their 5th birthday. This statistic is staggering, and given that obese children are more likely to become obese adults, it demonstrates the need for health reform and education in the early months and years of a child’s life. Over the past three years, physical and health education requirements have been cut from Texas public schools, so it is crucial that universities take a proactive stance in providing a healthy school environment for our children.

Many of our faculty and students are investigating parenting, classroom teaching, school leadership practices and non-classroom experiences that support students’ educational achievement and development. This publication contains a sample of their work that has informed professional practice and policy.

Helping children to become successful adults is one of the most significant goals of the College of Education and Human Development. As I reflect on our mission as part of our land-grant heritage to provide a practical education coupled with dedicated service and life-changing solutions that directly impact the daily lives of the people of Texas, I am privileged to be a part of the innovative work of our faculty and students to truly transform the lives of so many.

All the best,

Doug