This year, the Designed Based Learning (DBL) program, founded by Professor Doreen Gehry Nelson in 1969, will celebrate its 22nd year anniversary in the College of Education and Integrative Studies (CEIS).
To commemorate Nelson’s work, from October through December, the UCLA Special Collections Library, which houses her archive, will host a symposium and exhibit of artifacts submitted by students and teachers impacted by the program.
“This is a great moment for our college,” said CEIS Dean Jeff Passe. “We want people to see how the DBL program results in student achievement in math, reading and language arts. Our K-12 teacher graduates have reported dramatic improvements among students, especially English language learners and students with learning disabilities, as well as fewer classroom discipline problems. The upcoming UCLA exhibit, recognizing the work of K-12 teachers and students, may inspire educators to enroll in our DBL program.”
DBL is a hands-on teaching methodology that taps into students’ natural creativity to develop higher-level thinking skills and enhance comprehension of the K-12 curriculum. A certificate in DBL requires five core classes while a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in DBL includes only six additional courses.
Nelson, the program’s founder, is a recipient of the California State University’s Wang Family Excellence Award and an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. She has over 40 years of experience in both public and private education.
“When I began my career in education in 1960, I found that traditional ways of teaching were not leading to student success,” Nelson said. “Using our methodology, students learn how to problem solve by applying essential 21st century workforce skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.”
Among those participating in the exhibit and symposium include Daphne Chase, a graduate of the DBL master’s program and second grade teacher at Wilson Elementary School in San Gabriel.
“The master’s degree in DBL provided the paradigm shift that took my classroom to the next level,” she said. “My students are excited about learning as they use their own designs to think creatively and critically. The master’s program taught me how to design my own curriculum to teach students with a depth I never would have thought was possible for second graders.”
“The Doreen Gehry Nelson Archive of Design-Based Learning: A K-12 Teaching Methodology for Invoking Creative Thinking” exhibit will open Saturday, Oct. 14, at the UCLA Special Collections Library. The program will begin at 1 p.m. with a symposium addressing the impact of the DBL methodology followed by a reception. The exhibit will run through Dec. 31. For more information about DBL, visit www.designbasedlearning.org or contact Professor Doreen Gehry Nelson at 310-387-8261.
For more information about CEIS, contact Ashley Jones at 909-869-5370.