The Education Program
The Education Program focuses on introducing students to the field of education as a possible career. Students in the program may pursue a minor in education in one of two tracks. One track has an emphasis on early childhood/early elementary grades and the other emphasizes middle grades/high school. Required courses in the minor provide students with a foundation in human development and learning theory as applied in educational settings. Students in the minor may also select courses outside the Education department that address their particular interests within the field of education.
The mission of the Education program is to introduce students to the field of education through an emphasis on teaching and learning as it is applied in diverse settings with diverse learners. The course work in the program provides modeling of best practices and features a strong experiential base that includes classroom observation and fieldwork experiences. The program emphasizes reflection and active learning through engaged experiences within the college classroom and in the field setting.
Annie E. Jonas (Chair)
Ed.D., Western Carolina University
Dr. Annie Jonas, Chair of the department, has a background in, and research interests in, experiential education. In May 2014, Dr. Jonas and Dr. Megan Keiser (from Brevard College) presented The Experiential Learning Cycle: A Catalyst to Jumpstart Student Reflection at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching and Learning in Bethesda, MD.
Annie serves as the Faculty Liaison to Service-Learning at Warren Wilson and is the Vice-chair of Evergreen Community Charter School.
Ph.D., University of Oregon
Dr. Maura Davis’s research interests include the social-emotional development of young children as well as the social-emotional well-being of early childhood educators. Dr. Davis recently wrote a successful $25,000 grant to the Janirve Legacy Fund to Focus on School Readiness. The project was designed to improve the literacy skills and overall school readiness of preschoolers in childcare centers serving economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Asheville.
In Fall 2014, Maura accompanied five members of the Verner student work-crew at the Infant Mental Health Conference in Asheville. The conference inspired Warren Wilson students to consider how their education and work experiences at Warren Wilson could be utilized in their future careers.
The Education department demonstrates exemplary and innovative teaching techniques within its course offerings. For example, students in the Spring 2014 Teaching Foundations course created original documentaries about current topics in education. An example of one documentary, about Charter Schools in NC, from the Spring 2014 class can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IyBAelAGTg
This recent press release about Annie Jonas’s First Year Seminar, Experiential Education and the Nature of Understanding, describes the impact of service-learning in an education course at Warren Wilson.
The Education department features strong community partnerships that enhance the learning in our courses. These partnerships provide students with opportunities to work with children of all ages in local schools, child-care centers, local non-profits and/or after-school programs. Community partners from recent years include Isaac Dickson Elementary School, Buncombe County Community High School, Owen High School, Owen Middle School, ArtSpace Charter School, Evergreen Community Charter School, WD Williams Elementary School, Black Mountain Primary School and Building Bridges of Asheville.
Verner Center for Early Learning (Verner), located on the Warren Wilson Campus, features a 5-star early childhood center for children ages 0-5, family services for parents and caregivers, health and nutrition services for children and families and a highly regarded early childhood teacher training program. Verner and Warren Wilson have a long-standing partnership that provides Warren Wilson students with opportunities to explore and learn from an exemplary early childhood program. Education department faculty member, Dr. Maura Davis, serves as the Warren Wilson liaison to Verner. Through this partnership, the Education department offers course-related field intensive experiences, internships, and long-term and intensive service opportunities.