"In order to successfully transition from graduate student to special educator, AU students must be able to analyze, understand, and speak clearly and concisely about learning differences; they must be able to understand how different and special minds think, and how to achieve success through implementation of research-based instructional practices. At the Lab School, we understand that all students learn differently. We want AU students to be immersed in this culture, giving them consistent opportunities to put research into practice."
-- Melissa Wood, Director of Speech, Language, and Literacy Services
Think experiential learning. One of the main tenets of The Lab School of Washington is to teach students by doing rather than by telling. Arts-centered, project-based learning is, in many ways, the antidote to rote learning. So why shouldn’t this methodology extend to graduate students, especially those who are learning to teach students with learning differences?
It does, and has since 1976 when Lab School Founder and preeminent educator in the field of learning differences education Sally L. Smith started American University’s Master of Arts in Special Education: Learning Disabilities. A specialized graduate program for learning how to teach children with learning differences, the program integrates theory and practice not in separate courses or during separate semesters but every day in every activity. It includes coursework at night and a year-long hands-on internship in a Lab classroom working with a master teacher during the day.
Executive Director, Institute for Innovation in Education in School of Education at American University Sarah Irvine Belson, PhD:
Click here to learn more about the American University/Lab School program at American University.
“Our faculty are committed to providing AU students with state-of-the-art approaches ranging from arts-integration to neuroscience to technology, embedded into a program that is designed to help teachers support the strengths and needs of the student with language-based learning disabilities.”