Ellie Friedland

Clinical Associate Professor

Ellie Friedland BU Wheelock

Dr. Ellie Friedland is an associate professor in the Early Childhood Education Program at Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. She teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate early childhood education courses, including Classroom Assessment of Young Children, practicum seminar, and supervision of student teachers. She has designed and taught Creating Welcoming Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Families in Education and Human Services and Clowning for Social Change.  She also teaches Social Justice through Theatre of the Oppressed in the BU School of Fine Arts.

Dr. Friedland serves on the advisory board of the Wheelock Family Theatre and works as a teaching artist for WFT.  Her research and practice focus on education for social justice, anti-bias teaching, and teaching and learning through the arts. She is a Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner, and integrates this work into her teaching, as well as her community activism. She frequently offers professional development for teachers in anti-bias education and cultural competence. Before coming to BU Wheelock, she taught at Wheelock College for twenty years, and before that at Endicott College, Cambridge College, and Lesley University. She was a child and family psychotherapist for ten years, working in an outreach program that served families within which there was severe physical and sexual child abuse.

Dr. Friedland works with public school teachers in Guatemala, as well the educators and students of CEIPA, a not-for-profit organization in Quetzeltanango, Guatemala, that provides education and career preparation for child laborers. She serves on the board of the UPAVIM Community Development Foundation, and works with the teachers at UPAVIM, a women’s collective in Guatemala City that created and maintains their own school through their sales of hand-made crafts and a bakery. She is past president of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, a professional organization focused on the liberatory educational and theatre approaches of Paulo Friere and Augusto Boal. She also studied and taught at the Actors Institute in Boston and New York, and before that she studied and performed clowning with the Cumeezi Bozo Ensemble in New York City; then founded and led the Clown Jewels Clown Troupe in Boston.

BS, Human Development and Family Studies, Cornell University
MS, Human Behavior and Development, Drexel University
PhD, Education and the Arts, the Union Institute

Dr. Friedland's research and practice focus on education for social justice, anti-bias teaching, and teaching and learning through the arts.

Dr. Friedland has published a number of articles, and many of her other publications focus on culturally competent teaching and learning, as well as on teaching for social justice through drama. Her recent publications include co-editing, with Toby Emert, the book Come Closer: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed, and the chapter "Image Theatre as Reflective Practice" in Playing in a House of Mirrors: Applied Theatre as Reflective Practice, edited by Elinor Vettaino and Warren Linds.

View all profiles