Think. Pair. Share. with Dr. Nicole McNeil
From The Shamrock to The Dome, traveling a providential path to understanding how children learn and what role education plays in the development of a just society.
Dr. Nicole McNeil, professor of psychology and Director of the Education, Schooling, and Society program considers the science behind children’s cognitive development and the duality of the power of education to change people’s lives.
“People talk about education a lot as a life changer, right? If we help that child learn how to read… That's gonna change the trajectory of the child's life. So education at the same time, both has this life-changing aspect to it, and it does that a lot of the time. But at the same time, we as a society seem to constantly structure it and create it in ways that prevent it from doing that, that we structure it in a way that makes it really, really hard for people who haven't historically accessed it or have the access to it, from using it in that way that it has so much potential to do. And I think that duality about education, that it can change lives, but it also holds people back… Is a challenging thing that I think our students grapple with. And actually, I feel every person in our world would be better off if they grappled with that a little bit more.”
“The ESS program was founded originally as an interdisciplinary supplementary minor, it draws on the tools of the liberal arts and social sciences to give the students different lenses for examining big questions in education, the goal is not to train teachers at all, it is to introduce students to the big questions in education. What is the purpose of education? What kinds of factors affect children's educational attainment? What role does education play in the development of a just society?"
“I learn a lot from the ACE Teaching Fellows, they're so engaged. They want to help children, they wanna learn everything they can, especially when I get to work with them after their first year of teaching in the summer, after they've taught for a whole year, they come back just hungry for anything that can help them be better teachers, and I just love that, love, love. It's so fun to teach people who really wanna learn.”