Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development

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Boston University
Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
Boston University School of Education, Boston MA.jpg
The School of Education Building
on Commonwealth Avenue
DeanDr. David J. Chard
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States

Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development is the school of education within Boston University. It is located on the University's Charles River Campus in Boston, Massachusetts in the former Lahey Clinic building. The Dean ad interim of Wheelock is Catherine O'Connor, Ph.D. SED has more than 31,000 alumni, 65 full-time faculty[1] and both undergraduate and graduate students.[2] Boston University School of Education was ranked 34th in the nation in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report in their rankings of graduate schools of education.[3] The School of Education is a member institution of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).[4]


Boston University School of Education was founded in 1918. Dr. Arthur H. Wilde, the first dean of the School, wrote, "Our policy has been to keep in as vital touch with the everyday work of the schools as we could—to know the needs of the teachers and of the school officers and to give immediate satisfaction to those needs, yet with a view to the broader education of these teachers and officers." [5]

SED houses the oldest continuously published journal in the field of education in the country, the Journal of Education. The Journal of Education was formed in 1875 by the union of the Maine Journal of Education, the Massachusetts Teacher, the Rhode Island Schoolmaster, the Connecticut School Journal, and the College Courant. Originally called the New England Journal of Education and later renamed the Journal of Education, in 1952 the journal was sold to the Boston University School of Education. In 1976 the School of Education celebrated the 100th-year publication with a special issue of the Journal, including excerpts from the first issue. During its long history, the Journal of Education has published the work of Michael Apple, Jean Anyon, Burton Blatt, Carol Chomsky, Linda Darling-Hammond, Eleanor Duckworth, Donald Durrell, Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, Maxine Greene, Jonathan Kozol, Alfie Kohn, Gloria Ladson-Billings, Robert Pinsky, Lee Shulman, and Elie Wiesel. In 2009, the Journal of Education became a peer-reviewed publication.[6]

Programs of study[edit]

Boston University School of Education offers a Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree in ten programs and graduate degrees in more than twenty areas through the Master of Education degree, the Master of Arts in Teaching degree, the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, and the Doctor of Education degree. Although programs are grouped within academic departments that reflect the chief teaching and research interests of the faculty, course work and projects often extend across departmental lines into other areas of the School and University.

Programs in the Department of Educational Leadership prepare students for a variety of responsibilities in administration, training, and policy-centered development work. Graduates can be found in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary school administration, student and alumni affairs, corporate training and development, international educational development, and directing international schools.

Programs in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching prepare professionals for teaching and other leadership responsibilities in education. Students prepare for educational work in schools, media centers, school libraries, community agencies, and educational research projects, as well as state and national educational organizations. Most programs include courses leading to classroom teaching certification. Boston University's special education program offers a dual-degree program with the School of Social Work that enables qualified students to earn either the M.S.W./Ed.M. or the M.S.W./Ed.D.

Within these two departments, offerings include programs in school and community counseling, sport psychology, and human development and education that prepare students for practice informed by the latest theories in life-span development. The literacy and reading education programs, based on the most recent research in the field, prepare students to be reading specialists, provide educational interventions in literacy, and contribute new knowledge to the field through doctoral study. Leading-edge areas of study in language education include education of the deaf (bilingual/bicultural focus), teaching English to speakers of other languages (K–12 ESL and adult TESOL), and modern foreign language education.

Master's degree and C.A.G.S. programs usually require the equivalent of one year of full-time study. Doctoral programs generally require the equivalent of two or more years of full-time study.[7]

Research facilities[edit]

The Pickering Educational Resources Library (PERL) houses materials on curriculum and instruction, including textbooks, tests, and a special K–12 collection. Students in the School have access to all libraries within the University system (including an extensive collection of electronic indexes and journals), as well as the Boston Library Consortium. The University collection is the second largest in New England (behind Harvard) and contains about 2.1 million volumes, with the equivalent of an additional 3.9 million volumes stored on microform, and a growing collection of Web-based resources. University media services include video services and photographic facilities. The School's Instructional Materials Center (IMC) supports a wide range of instructional and communications aids: computing and printing resources, telecommunications, photography, audio-visual materials, video technology, and overhead transparencies and graphics. School-based clinics and learning laboratories offer opportunities for research and firsthand learning experiences.[7]

The Early Childhood Learning Laboratory (ECLL) is a preschool affiliated with and located at the School of Education. It is a laboratory and demonstration school available to Boston University students, parents of children in the program, and other early childhood professionals for observing children and teachers. Children whose families live in the local neighborhood primarily attend this open-enrollment school. There are 20 children, ages 2.9-5, in a mixed age group with two licensed early childhood teachers. The preschool program employs an innovative, inquiry-based approach to curriculum design. Teachers determine a topic of study that relates to the children's interest. The concepts or big ideas of this topic are decided upon, and activities are designed to teach those concepts. Teachers continually monitor the children's engagement in the activities, documenting their comments, questions, and interactions in order to make on-going adjustments to the plan and the environment.[8]

The Instructional Materials Center (IMC) is a multimedia technology resource center that supports a wide range of instructional and communication aids, including extensive computing and printing resources, multimedia classrooms, telecommunications, photography, audio-visual materials, and video technology[9]

Other programs[edit]

  • The Boston University/Boston Public Schools Collaborative is the administrative organization at the University that oversees more than a dozen programs created in support of the Boston Public Schools. In 1975, court-ordered school desegregation in Boston stimulated an unprecedented commitment by Boston-area colleges, universities, and businesses to help the city's schools and children. Boston University has been and continues to be an active participant. University resources contribute to the support of a full-time director who initiates and seeks funding for new programs which involve faculty and students in serving the needs of Boston school children.
  • The Consortium was established in 1977 when the Boston University School of Education and a selection of Boston-area school districts, social service agencies, and overseas universities came together to form a consortium for the mutual exchange of expertise and training. Since that time, consortium school systems and social service agencies have offered SED students with a variety of settings in which to student-teach, gain school-based counseling experience, and work as administrative interns.
  • The Boston University/Chelsea Partnership was the only example of a private university accepting responsibility for the day-to-day management of a public school system. Boston University provided managerial and educational expertise to oversee and rebuild an entire urban school system and to construct a model for the reform of urban education. This partnership was ended in June 2008.
  • Step UP is an unprecedented collaboration with the Boston Public Schools (BPS) and the City of Boston to help local schools. Boston University is one of five universities involved in the program. Step UP was formed in the fall of 2006 and provides comprehensive, coordinated services aimed at improving student performance. Boston University's two partner schools are the William Monroe Trotter Elementary School in Dorchester and the English High School in Jamaica Plain. Based on the needs identified by each partner school, BU aims to help the Trotter and the English make improvements in areas such as instruction and tutoring, after-school support, student wellness and safety, and family and community engagement.
  • Upward Bound is a college preparatory program for potential first-generation college and low-income Boston Public High School students. It is a federally funded TRIO program that serves 75 low-income and first generation college students who join in either ninth and tenth grade and participate until high school graduation. Students must be enrolled in the Boston Public Schools and either attend one of the target high schools (Brighton High, English High, The Engineering School, Community Academy of Science and Health, Social Justice Academy, or Snowden High) or live in one of the target neighborhoods (Allston, Brighton, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, or Mattapan). Program Services include afternoon classes and tutoring during the school year and a residential six-week summer academic program.
  • Jumpstart is an AmeriCorps program that recruits college students to mentor 3- to 5-year-old children. Students read stories, sing songs, and play games that support young children's school readiness and earn a Work-Study wage, a $1,500 living allowance, an AmeriCorps education award of up to $1,000, and take course credit in ED 206. Jumpstart Corps members work 8–12 hours a week in local early childhood centers, paired one-to-one with a partner child.
  • The Boston University Conference on Language Development, regarded as the leading international conference in the field, takes place on campus every fall, with the active involvement of faculty and students from the School of Education. Two centers are also affiliated with the School: the Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character and the Center for Communication and Deafness.
  • The Institute for Athletic Coach Education (IACE) in the School of Education at Boston University is designed to focus attention on the need for education and training for youth sport coaches. At the Institute, youth sports are considered a vehicle for helping young people develop into productive members of society, with the guidance of a significant adult mentor who is most often a coach. We aim to provide present and future youth sport coaches with learning opportunities and resources to help them better understand their role and fulfill their responsibilities as leaders and educators in the community.
  • COACH (College Opportunity and Career Help) empowers Boston Public School students to make informed decisions about their futures by matching current college students with 11th and 12th graders to provide information, to motivate, and to support these students as they make post-secondary plans. Working directly in the high school classrooms, coaches gain a unique perspective on issues of college access, public education, and educational opportunity. By linking practice with ongoing research and dialogue, COACH continually looks for ways to challenge, explore, and bridge the growing opportunity gap for traditionally underrepresented students.
  • The Center for the Study of Communication and the Deaf is devoted to both applied and theoretical research to benefit the Deaf and their families. Faculty and students have focused on three major research themes: the acquisition of sign languages, the impact of language on the education of the Deaf child, and the developmental assessment of bilingual approaches to the education of Deaf children. A variety of community services focus on projects assisting the hearing parents of Deaf children and on workshops and presentations to area agencies. The center has recently begun to create assessment instruments to determine ASL development in Deaf children.
  • The Center for Character and Social Responsibility at Boston University addresses a range of issues related to young people acquiring sound ethical values and framing good character. Assists educators in becoming more competent and confident in the teaching and study of ethics and character. The center also fosters more research initiatives in and publications on moral and character education.
  • sedGreen committee is an expanding group of faculty, students, and staff who work to advocate for green practices and policies. Initiated in November 2006, sedGreen meets monthly to discuss environmental goals in the School of Education, as well as all of Boston University.
  • Projects in Civic Engagement share a common aim—to promote civic engagement in democratic life, both within the United States and in emerging democracies abroad. Genuine civic engagement requires deep knowledge of democratic principles as well as practical experience in influencing public policy, and these projects take as their goals the development of knowledge and skills necessary for effective and meaningful civic engagement.
  • The Donald Durrell Reading & Writing Clinic at Boston University serves elementary and middle school students who experience difficulty with reading and writing. Students who enroll in the program have a range of learning profiles: some struggle just a bit, while others experience severe reading and writing difficulty.
  • The Summer Literacy Institute is a one-week institute offered each summer by the School of Education that addresses current issues in literacy learning. The institute is intended for classroom teachers, literacy specialists, and administrators who would like to deepen or update their knowledge of effective assessment and instruction in literacy.
  • The Intergenerational Literacy Program began offering literacy instruction to parents in 1989. The program was developed in collaboration with 17 community organizations and is guided by an Advisory Board representing participating parents, the Chelsea Public Schools, Boston University and community organizations.
  • Gardner Pilot Academy Physical Education Collaboration is a program that, for the past three decades, has bussed children from the Gardner and Hamilton Schools to Boston University's Case Center for Physical Education classes taught by BU graduate students. The program, known as the Tuesday-Thursday Physical Education Program, became internationally recognized for its unique teaching-learning environment.

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Hardin L.K. Coleman, current Dean of the School of Education at Boston University. His research focus is the development of school counselors, family therapy, supervision, advanced clinical courses, and spirituality in counseling. He has also published numerous articles appearing in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, The School Counselor, the Psychological Bulletin, and Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. His clinical focus is lower-income African American families with a particular interest in adolescents. He is the editor of the recently published Handbook on School Counseling.
  • Henry Giroux, former professor of education at Boston University from 1977 to 1983. One of the founding theorists of critical pedagogy in the United States, and is best known for his pioneering work in public pedagogy, cultural studies, youth studies, higher education, media studies, and critical theory.
  • James Paul Gee, former professor of education from 1982–1988 and chair of the Department of Developmental Studies and Counseling. His research focus is in psycholinguistics, discourse analysis, sociolinguistics, bilingual education, and literacy. and recently he has written about video games and literacy.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Wendy Chamberlin, SED'71, former U.S. Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, currently President of the Middle East Institute
  • Marie Jean Philip, American Sign Language and Deaf Culture advocate, researcher and teacher. She was a pioneer in the Bilingual-Bicultural (Bi-Bi) movement
  • Ben Bahan, American Sign Language storyteller and researcher


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ School of Education | Schools & Colleges | Academics | Boston University
  3. ^ US News and World Report Education Graduate Schools 2016
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-06-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Journal of Education". Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  7. ^ a b[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2008-09-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°20′59″N 71°06′03″W / 42.3497°N 71.1007°W / 42.3497; -71.1007