Abandoned house turned lab school

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issue 5, Roani Whent, Features - By Roani Whent on Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 01:54

Running freely in the Nixon field, students from the neighboring Broadoaks Children’s School enjoy another day on the Whittier College campus. The children play in the grassy upper quad, their energetic little bodies oblivious to those Poets passing by to and from class. Who are these children and is there a purpose for being on a college campus?

Broadoaks is a private, non-profit demonstration school that was founded by Ada Mae Brooks and Imelda E. Brooks as a home for abandoned children 1906. For over 100 years it has been used as a learning laboratory or “lab school” for college students and faculty in the fields of child development and psychology, as well as other studies involving children and families.

The school was originally located in Pasadena and was then moved to Whittier in 1945. Ever since then, Broadoaks has granted college students and faculty with opportunities to analyze, study , observe, instruct and conduct research about and with children.

This academic year, Broadoaks has become part of the National Association of Laboratory Schools (NALS). This international association includes pre-kindergarten levels through graduate laboratory and university affiliated schools that engage in practices of teaching to better understand children. A membership with NALS will bring various benefits to Broadoaks such as grants and representations in conferences.

Broadoaks is an academic program whose main objective is to serve the Whittier College community by providing a model of “best practices” for the education and care of elementary and preschool-aged children. Broadoaks currently serves about 300 families with children from preschool to sixth grade in their regular school year and preschool to eighth graders in their summer program.

As an institution, Broadoaks has remained, over many years, as a center for research for the college community to better understand the development of children.