New professor series: Jolene Pearson

September 6, 2012 | 11:43 a.m.

Introducing the new faces around Bethel 

News | Roberta Fultz 

New professor series: Jolene Pearson

Jolene Pearson joins the Bethel community in the Department of Education. | Courtesy of Academic Affairs.

--Pearson pursued a career in Early Childhood Education after she volunteered at a nursery during high school.  “I was totally amazed at how much learning was going on,” she said.  She enrolled at the University of Minnesota for her undergrad.  Pearson recognized the racial diversity of the Twin Cities area and intentionally took racial studies courses.  She encourages Bethel students to take advantage of the intercultural opportunities available.  “Get to know people who may be different from yourself,” she said.

--She joined the Peace Corps after college and was placed in Jamaica.  The teachers she worked with practiced a “listen and recite” model of teaching, but Pearson was convinced that if children learned through play “the learning would stick.”  The Jamaican school system was so entrenched in the repetition model that no toys or games were available.  Pearson had to find materials, asking a furniture factory for leftover wood pieces to make blocks and collecting empty containers to stock a classroom store.

--This semester, Pearson is teaching Foundations in Early Childhood Education.  “I’m looking forward to kindling the excitement I had when I first started studying early childhood,” she said.  “Having a good handle on child development can be beneficial across our culture.”



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