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Symposium Marks Official Name Change in Lynch

The Lynch School of Education was officially renamed the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at a University symposium on Wednesday.

The name change reflects the school’s relatively large counseling, developmental, and educational psychology department in comparison to other schools of education, Dean of Lynch Stanton Wortham told The Heights in November. It also represents a new emphasis the school has been placing on formative education and understanding how humans develop as whole people, he said.

Boston College Board of Trustees member Peter Lynch, one of the school’s namesakes and BC ’65, hosted the reception, which was organized in a question-and-answer format. Provost and Dean of Faculties David Quigley gave the welcoming remarks, and Wortham—along with Lynch professors Belle Liang, Rebecca Lowenhaupt, and Eric Dearing—spoke at the event.

The speakers emphasized that the addition to the school’s name more accurately reflects the school’s three themes: ecology, applied science, and partnerships.

“The new designation merges the outstanding work we do in teacher education, educational leadership, higher education, and curriculum and instruction with our distinguished capabilities in human development, thereby better reflecting the school’s focus and resources,” Wortham said.

The speakers discussed research focused on fostering human development, Lynch’s partnerships with various schools and communities, and the school’s efforts to take on a more collaborative role with students, parents, and practitioners.

Both Lowenhaupt and Dearing noted that the school’s new focus, one that consists of taking a more direct route “co-creating and co-innovating interventions,” has resulted in more effective solutions in the field of applied psychology.

Dearing said that researchers have realized they should be taking into account the time constraints of parents and teachers—rather than adding new items to their schedules or creating new lesson plans, they should be encapsulating areas of focus in no more than a few sentences for them. Through Dearing’s own research, for example, he found working math exercises into everyday activities, such as grocery shopping, proved to be more effective than attempting to include an additional activity to a child’s schedule.

Both Lowenhaupt and Liang emphasized that the practitioners themselves—already being experts—did not need videos, lectures, and workshops from researchers, but rather quick, usable information that would be readily available for them to incorporate into their methods. These improved strategies take into account that families and practitioners need to know what to concentrate on rather than having access to new materials, they said.

The lecture concluded with the speakers restating the school’s focus on the cohesive whole, as opposed to narrow projects worked on by individuals.

“We are not changing names, just naming what the school already does,” Peter Lynch said.

Featured Image by Jonathon Ye / Heights Editor

February 5, 2019