Real World Experience
Wheaton provides many opportunities for students to gain valuable experience as tutors, teachers, and researchers. Students undertake fieldwork in Education 240 (Multiple Perspectives on Literacy) and Education 260 (Teaching and Learning). Licensure candidates assist in nearby public school classrooms during pre-practicum experiences associated with Education 385, Education 390, and Education 391. In the spring of their senior years, licensure candidates take a teaching methods seminar and engage in full-time student-teaching experiences in which students assume increasing professional responsibility for teaching in a local public school (Education 495 and Education 496).
Wheaton’s Office of Service, Spirituality and Social Responsibility coordinates volunteer options at a number of educational organizations, including: Head Start, Norton Middle School Tutoring Program, Norton Youth Theater, Best Buds, Wheaton Tutoring Outreach Program, Attleboro Literacy Center, America Reads, and the YMCA of Attleboro/Norton. Wheaton students also volunteer at The Pinecroft School, a progressive independent school right next to campus. Other students work on campus at the Elisabeth Amen Nursery School. In January, Wheaton students can participate in an Urban Education Initiative in Boston. The Education Club also organizes activities and fundraisers.
For the past three years, Professor Mary Lee Griffin has worked with teams of student researchers during the summer and college year on projects involving her ongoing research focused on mindfulness and literacy. Her student partners have been involved in many stages of this research including field teaching/testing of strategies, data collection and analysis, literature review and writing. One student initiated “by-product” of this work was the creation of the Mindfulness for Students Website, now accessed and used by many other colleges and universities.
Wheaton students have been able travel with Professor Mary Lee Griffin to the Woodingdean Primary School in Brighton, England and with Professor Vicki Bartolini and Marge Werner (Director of the Elisabeth Amen Nursery School) to Reggio Emilia in Italy (the infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia are widely regarded as the best in the world). Education students may also choose to study abroad at the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) Program in Copenhagen. The DIS program offers study abroad opportunities for those interested in young children with special needs as well as multicultural perspectives on young children, their families and their early care and education settings. Students can also participate in education internships while studying abroad in other countries, such as Chile and Austria.