The Department of Child and Family Studies was established in 1973 to conduct academic research on families, society, and culture with regard to children and nurturing leaders in this field. It examines human development throughout life from an ecological perspective, the dynamics of the connection between family relationships and social changes, and human development from psychological, educational, and sociological perspectives with a focus on children.
The Department of Child and Family Studies
We examine all stages of human development but with a particular focus on infancy and childhood and examine the key ways in which people interact with their surrounding environments, including their family, educational institutions, social institutions, and culture.
Our educational purpose is to offer students foundational knowledge about children and families and to provide them with field experiences that will help them become human development, child education and childcare, counseling, and family experts. The Child Development Research Institute located behind Cheongsongdae Park in the Sinchon campus provides on-site training while laboratories in Samsung Hall, including learning and perception, infant behavior observation, child behavior observation, and family research labs and teaching material, counseling, development assessment, children’s psychological testing, and rhythm practice rooms, are utilized to provide practical training during classes and for research. Common professions that our students enter into after completing the undergraduate program include developmental psychologist, kindergarten teacher, daycare center teacher, social education specialist, and family social worker. They are often employed at educational institutes for children, research institutes, child welfare centers, publication and media companies, counseling and cultural centers for children, and digital content development companies.
Our journey began in March 1973 when we admitted our first group of freshmen under the name Department of Child as the first such independent department in South Korea. Male students were first admitted in 1983 and are now excelling in various areas within our department. The master’s degree program was established in 1977 and the doctoral program was established in 1981. Our department has grown rapidly within a short period of time which is evidenced by the fact that 76 of our graduates have obtained doctoral degrees at home and abroad as of 2004. We are committed to fostering leaders equipped with both knowledge and practical skills by offering field experiences and practical training in response to society’s changing demands.
Our students are making material contributions in academia; child development and educational development research institutes; social welfare centers; as administrators, managers, and teachers in schools and daycare centers; as child counselors; and in various child-related industries, including publishing magazines for children, outdoor playground development, and designing and creating toys, children’s clothing, infant food, children’s furniture, and books for children. With the growth of child- and family-related industries, such as animation, computer software development, and stationary, driven by the growth of South Korea as an information society in recent years, an increasing number of graduates are jumping into such fields, including increasing numbers of male students. Students in our department can apply for their kindergarten teacher’s license by the end of their second year of school. If they complete 20 credits of teaching courses in addition to their major credits, they will receive their grade 2 regular kindergarten teacher’s license issued by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development upon graduation. Also, when students complete the compulsory childcare practical training course, they will be able to obtain their childcare teacher’s license issued by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.
Life in the Department
The Yonsei Puppet Show Society was formed in our department as a passion project by our students in 1988 has held annual performances since then at Yonsei and performed shows outside of the school as well. Juniors and seniors in the society have also created a study group in which they read and discuss books related to their studies.
BK21 Human Life and Innovation Design
The Human Life and Innovation Design convergence major was established jointly by the Department of Child and Family Studies, which is concerned with social care at all stages of human development, and the Department of Human Environment and Design, which seeks to promote innovation through comprehensive and creative human-oriented problem-solving with the keyword “human” serving as the common denominator for all of their efforts. This major provides flexible multidisciplinary education underscoring convergence and specialization, society-oriented education designed to teach students how to identify social problems in each stage of life, and education that teaches students to engage in the virtuous theory-research-practice cycle to find realistic solutions to those problems. This education was designed to produce social innovation experts who can develop sustainable solutions to social needs. Since September 2020, it has been designated as the 4th Stage BK21 Educational Research Group and has supported domestic and overseas research activities and scholarships to participating graduate students. BK21 Website: http://hlid.yonsei.ac.kr