Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education
Office: CLR 103
B.S. (Human Development and Family Studies), Cornell University
M.S. (Human Behavior and Development), Drexel University
Ph.D. (Education and the Arts) The Union Institute
Ellie Friedland is Associate Professor in Early Childhood Education at Wheelock. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Early Childhood Education and supervises student teachers in kindergarten and grade 1 and 2 classrooms. She also teaches Creating Welcoming Environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Families in Education and Human Services, Communication and Collaboration with Families, Communities, and Colleagues, The Meaning and Development of Play, Education and Theatre for Social Justice, Introduction to Psychodrama, and Trying Socrates. She integrates her background in theater in her teaching and in her work with Wheelock faculty and students in Speaking and Listening Across the Curriculum, as well as in her work with the Wheelock Family Theatre.
Her research and practice focus on education for social justice, anti-bias teaching, and teaching and learning through the arts. She is a Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner, and integrates this work into her teaching, as well as her community activism. She frequently offers professional development for teachers in anti-bias education and cultural competence. She works with public school teachers in Guatemala, as well the teachers and volunteers in the Safe Passage program, an enrichment program for children and families who live and work in the Guatemala City Dump (this program was founded by Wheelock alum Hanley Denning). She has published a number of articles on this work, and her other publications focus on culturally competent teaching and learning, as well as on teaching through drama. She is past president of Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, a professional organization focused on the liberatory educational and theatre approaches of Paulo Friere and Augusto Boal. Her book, co-edited with Toby Emert of Agnes Scott College, Come Closer: Critical Perspectives on Theatre of the Oppressed, was published by Peter Lang, Inc. in 2011.
Before coming to Wheelock in 1999, she taught at Endicott College, Cambridge College and Lesley University. She was a child and family psychotherapist for ten years, working in an outreach program that served families with severe physical and sexual child abuse. She also studied and taught at the Actors Institute in Boston and New York, and before that she studied and performed clowning with the Cumeezi Bozo Ensemble in New York City; and then founded and led the Clown Jewels Clown Troupe in Boston.