© Laurie Rhodes 2005


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: 610-436-3153 or

The ECCEL Team


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 two opportunities to be part of the ECCEL Team in the fall of 2006.

                                              © Laurie Rhodes 2005

PSY 410 Research in Psychology offers the opportunity to work with Dr. Brown to conduct research on poverty and children’s cognitive and emotional development. Students will receive training in research methods and ethics, and counseling tools. Students will interview parents and teachers, administer tasks that examine how children think and feel, and observe parents and children interacting with each other.

PSY 410 Research may be taken for 3 credits. To take this course with Dr. Brown, you must have one full morning or afternoon free each week in September and October to travel to Head Start Centers and conduct research with parents, children, and teachers there. You must have one hour available five nights each week in November and early December to interview parents by telephone.

PSY 441 Field Experience in Psychology allows students to work with Dr. Brown to provide support for Head Start teachers, children, and families. Students will receive training in current techniques for supporting children’s cognitive and emotional development. Students will volunteer in Head Start classrooms to assist teachers with activities and provide extra attention for children who need it. Students will also have the chance to help with workshops and support groups for Head Start teachers and families.

PSY 441 Field Experience counts for 3 credits. To take this course with Dr. Brown, you must have one full morning or afternoon available each week to travel to Head Start Centers and provide support services for teachers and children there. To learn more, please contact Dr. Brown: 610-436-3153 or

                                                 © Laurie Rhodes 2005



Last Updated 10/3/18