What is a Laboratory School?

SNU's School for Children - Administration

The School for Children at Southern Nazarene University - A Laboratory School

For the past 43 years, The School for Children at Southern Nazarene University has operated as a Child Development Laboratory School, part of the outreach of the SNU School of Education. The first two pre-kindergarten classes were welcomed in August 1971, to what was then called the Early Childhood Learning Center. SNU was the second college or university in Oklahoma to receive approval to operate such a center in order to award the Early Childhood teaching credential. From the humble beginnings of that first year--with only the director, two certified teachers, and a volunteer--has come a dynamic laboratory school which now offers a complete program of educational excellence for children from pre-kindergarten through 6th grade.

The Laboratory School is dedicated to excellence in education. It is a living laboratory of child development for undergraduate students. These students may carry out observation, interview, and teaching as part of their studies on various aspects of teaching and learning. The SNU lab school utilizes the best aspects of several teaching methods. While not endorsing any single curriculum, the school is unmistakably Christian in its orientation and teachings. Its mission is based on the belief that all children can learn and that children must construct their own knowledge through participation in an active learning environment. The adult-child ratio provides a greatly enriched physical and social environment for the children’s exploratory learning activities, a well as much individual attention. The experience-based, concept-driven curriculum presents the opportunity for optimal development. This integrated learning experience emphasizes communication, thinking, problem solving, and the creative arts.

SNU has produced numerous classes of trained early childhood and elementary teachers for many years. The school is maintained by Southern Nazarene University for the training of future teachers. It is a model of educational practice. Teacher education will continue to be a top institutional priority well into the future. It will always be the desire of SNU to train teachers who will model Christian character to their students and, if given the opportunity, instill Christian values in the lives of children.