CEHS building to be named Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall | Nebraska today

The new College of Education and Humanities building being constructed on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln city campus will be named Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall. The University of Nebraska Board of Trustees approved the designation in honor of the late early childhood education expert at its April 8 meeting.

“This appellation is very special for our CEHS community, and it is fitting that a building designed to make teaching and learning visible bears the name of Carolyn Pope Edwards,” said Sherri Jones, Dean of Education and Humanities. “She was a true pioneer in helping children and adults better understand the learning process through research, observation and reflection.”

Edwards was a Nebraska faculty member for 18 years. Her life mission was to improve the quality of education for young children by understanding how they develop and thrive cognitively, socially and emotionally. In the tireless pursuit of this mission, Edwards has taught and mentored undergraduate and graduate students on campus and on study trips abroad. She has traveled extensively in Italy, China and other countries, training child care professionals and giving countless public talks, workshops and teacher training sessions.

Edwards studied the Reggio Model, a pioneering approach to early childhood education developed in schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy. She became a proponent of the approach and was instrumental in its adoption to improve children’s learning environments.

Her book, “The One Hundred Languages ​​of Children: Reggio Emilia’s Approach to Early Childhood Education,” written with George Foreman and Lella Gandini, documented the many ways children communicate their thoughts and ideas. It also examined how schools in Reggio promote learning through this communication. The book has been translated into many languages ​​and has become a central reference point for professionals working in early childhood education.

Edwards’ many professional honors included the Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award from the College of Education and Human Sciences, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance, and the Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award from the University of Nebraska. She passed away in 2018.

The new building replaces Mabel Lee Hall on 14th Street, between Vine and W streets. Mabel Lee Hall was opened in 1968 as the Women’s Physical Education Building and renamed in 1977 in Lee’s honor. The intramural sports fields directly east of Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall will retain the name Mabel Lee Fields, in recognition of Mabel Lee’s contributions to the field of physical education.

Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall, a four-story, 126,590 square foot facility, will include classrooms, meeting spaces, offices, labs, a 400-seat auditorium and a direct link to Teachers College Hall. The establishment will become the new home of CEHS Dean’s office; the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies; the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education; and the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools. It should open this fall.

“This building is a direct reflection of Nebraska’s investment in teacher education, and we are extremely grateful for the state’s support,” Jones said. “In Carolyn Pope Edwards Hall, the next generation of teachers and other professionals will discover their passions and generate new ideas to improve the lives of individuals, families, schools and communities and strengthen the relationships between them.”

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