View Text Only Version

Can the Arts Get Under the Skin?

ECCEL Program

Contact Can the Arts Get Under the Skin?  

Can the Arts Get Under the Skin?

Peoples Building
690 S Church St
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2945

About the ECCEL Program


At the Early Childhood Cognition and Emotions Lab (ECCEL), we are dedicated to making sure all children grow up in cognitive and emotional environments that promote their flourishing. All children deserve the chance to learn fully about the world and to know they are loved and respected. Because children are part of families, schools, and communities, we are committed not only to children but to the people and systems that provide for their care, learning, and emotional well-being. We support the people who support children!

Children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds represent our number one priority. All children come to the world ready to learn and take on challenges. But economic disadvantage leaves many children without the resources they deserve to learn well. Children growing up in poverty face greater challenges than they should have to, and receive too little support from our society. We support children who are growing up poor.

We believe early childhood is a key time for children’s positive growth. Parents facing economic hardship deserve support to give their young ones a good start. Head Start and related preschool programs also deserve support in their efforts to help children develop well in the early years. We support parents and preschool programs through mechanisms like: Workshops on children’s cognitive and emotional development; Support groups for parents and teachers; Head Start volunteers to assist with classroom activities and give extra attention to children who need it; and Research on cutting-edge questions in child development.

Dr. Ellie Brown, of the Department of Psychology at West Chester University, is the founder and director of ECCEL. Dr. Brown is committed to seeing that all children have the chance to develop to their full potential. She has state-of-the-art training in psychology and child development. She has worked for many years with children and families in economically disadvantaged communities. She has authored and co-authored notable publications on poverty and child development. She leads national and international workshops on ending classism, racism, and related forms of intolerance.

If you are interested in learning more about ECCEL,

please contact Dr. Brown


The ECCEL Team

ECCEL Children - © Laurie Rhodes 2005

© Laurie Rhodes 2005

West Chester University students are an important part of the ECCEL team. The ECCEL team offers students an excellent chance to gain experience with clinical psychology, child development, issues of classism and racism, counseling, research, and the process of working with children, families, and schools. By participating in ECCEL, you can contribute to the community, develop key skills, and gain experiences that are important for jobs and graduate school. There are multiple opportunities to be part of the ECCEL Team.

The PSY441/442 and PSY448/449 (J) Field Experience in Psychology courses offer the opportunity to work with Dr. Brown to complete an in depth study of child cognitive and emotional development in the context of classism, racism, and related forms of oppression. Students will receive training in current techniques for assessing and supporting children’s cognitive and emotional development. These courses may be taken for 3 or 6 credits, and for 3 credits you must have two mornings until 1pm or one full day until 4pm free each week to travel to Head Start preschools or public elementary schools and work with teachers, children, and families (for 6 credits you must have two full days free). Most of the schools are in Philadelphia so having a car is helpful, although carpools can generally be arranged for students who need them.

ECCEL Children - © Laurie Rhodes 2005

© Laurie Rhodes 2005

PSY410 Research with Dr. Brown is recommended for students who have completed at least one of the field experience courses and want to gain further experience with the research aspect of our work with children, families, and schools. The work in this course is individualized, as is the schedule. Students often work "behind the scenes" to help with data entry, literature reviews, and interviewing parents by telephone.

If you are interested in one of these courses,

please contact Dr. Brown.

Thank you!

Back to top of page.