Walker Center 143 has been transformed to look like an early education classroom.
The education program received a grant in 2012 to open the Intergenerational Computer Center in the Kramer School of Nursing, and some funds from the grant were used to purchase early-education supplies. In May, 2017, the education department was informed that the facility housing the early-education equipment was going to be re-allocated.
Dr. Laura Hines Wilhelm, associate professor of education, remembers the move-out.
“We found out in May that we had to be out of there, and so with the help of a student and a couple professors, and some random strangers who passed by at the wrong moment, we had to bring all of these tables and chairs and computers,” Wilhelm said.
In previous years, most education classes were taught in the Kramer School of Nursing. Now, Walker Center 143 is the dedicated education classroom.
Wilhelm said having the early-education supplies in the classroom benefits the students with real-world-application skills, as they practice skills they will need to use in their own classrooms.
“We know from research that teachers are more likely to do activities with kids if they’ve done those themselves in classes,” Wilhelm said. “And so we do painting, we work with natural clay, we work with objects from nature, painting with things that aren’t brushes.”
Kayla Yates, education senior, said the room makes the students more confident in their work.
“I just like the way it gives education majors like a room of our own to make us feel invited and we have all the resources that we need available to us instead of having to kind of find them everywhere,” Yates said.
The education department has been given a grant by an alumnus to continue exploring what works in this classroom. Wilhelm said that the department hopes to be able to install a sink in order to clean up after projects and crafts.