In order to better illustrate various aspects of infant development to psychology students, Dr. Kittie Weber welcomed a pair of “guest speakers” to her Human Development class recently. Six month old Wesley and two year old Evan, along with their mother and NEC Academic Advising Coordinator Keri Bresaw sat on a blanket in the middle of the classroom and played with toys while students observed the children’s developmental capabilities.
According to Dr. Weber, “These experiential learning sessions help students get a better feel for the way young children develop their physical and mental capacities. The students can apply the knowledge gained not only to their personal lives but also in their professional careers.”
Dr. Weber believes the learning experience becomes more understandable and relevant by combining the vast scientific knowledge available to students at NEC with real life human examples. And judging from the way the college students respond to having these young visitors in the classroom, the teaching approach is effective.
“Not only do our students benefit from having the classroom interaction with our visitors, but it allows NEC’s Psychology Department to build relationships with others throughout the campus as well as the larger off-campus community,” she explained.
Throughout the semester, Dr. Weber plans to continue scheduling in-class guests ranging in age from toddlers to teens in order for her students to gain practical experience in the area of childhood development.
“It is very rewarding as a member of the NEC faculty to watch my students engage with our classroom guests. They ask very good questions, and our guests are more than willing to share their personal experiences and insights. This is the kind of educational experience that can not be obtained by simply reading a book,” she observed.
By making her off-campus guests feel welcome and creating a rewarding classroom experience for them and their children as well as for her students, Dr. Weber is also laying the ground work for NEC’s future enrollment.
“I want these parents and their children to feel like they are a part of our efforts here at NEC to prepare our students for life after their college days are over. If our visitors become familiar with NEC then hopefully they’ll want to send their kids to this campus when they reach college age,” she said
For more information on the New England College Psychology Department visit http://www.nec.edu/academics/programs/psychology