The Earl Center Provides Innovative Support for Pre-Service Teachers
“My vision for education is not for teachers to solely disseminate knowledge, but to teach students how this knowledge can be applied in their world,” says Greg Benoit, assistant director of the Earl Center for Learning & Innovation. “We have the opportunity to create new innovative experiences for pre-service teachers to explore standards rather than be taught standards.”
The Earl Center is Boston University’s hub for advancing instructional and pedagogical techniques that harness creativity and innovation for successful learning. It seeks to cultivate creativity and innovation in teaching and learning across the University, with a focus on the faculty and students of BU Wheelock.
This spring, the Earl Center aims to lead in professional development for pre-service teachers by providing them with a variety of different workshops equipping them with skills they can use within their practicum experiences. These workshops will center on design thinking, game-based learning, and computer science education. The Center is also partnering with the Explo Center, a nonprofit education innovator that brings curiosity and engagement to the forefront of teaching and learning.
Another significant partnership is with Boston Latin School (BLS). In collaboration with Gavin Smith, a Lynch Fellow at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education, Benoit has created the Young Men of Color group for students at BLS. The group’s design pairs each member with a mentor, and who help guide the young men as they look critically at problems of practice in education.
On May 11, the Earl Center will be hosting an Emergent Bilingual Learners with Disabilities Innovation Swarm. This program is targeted for educators of students who are dually identified as well as special educators and will provide them with promising practices which they can implement in their classrooms.
Finally, the Earl Center will be hosting a STEM institute with a pilot program including professional development opportunities for STEM educators around a variety of topics. Benoit says that this is “a way for STEM educators to hear witness and experience innovation technology and approaches that exist in today’s world.”