School of Education, Child Life and Family Studies
Office: Boston Campus, Classroom Building 205
B.S., Wheelock College, 1985
M.A., Lesley College, 1988
Ed.D., Harvard University, 2003
Linda Banks-Santilli is Dean of the School of Education, Child Life and Family Studies and an associate professor of education in the Elementary and Special Education department. Before joining the faculty at Wheelock, she taught children and adolescents at McLean Hospital in the department of psycho-education. She then became a public school teacher and taught at the elementary and middle school levels in the Boston Public Schools for over a decade.
Banks-Santilli received the Golden Apple Award from the Boston Public Schools for her work with students in the Learning Adaptive Behavior (LAB) program, a special needs program. In 1997, she received the James Bryant Conant Fellowship from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she earned her doctorate. Her thesis was a qualitative study aimed at understanding the school experiences of students in the LAB.
In 2001, she returned to her alma mater as a faculty member and has taught elementary education methods courses and research courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. She regularly supervises student teachers in the Brookline, Cambridge, and Boston schools.
For three years, she served as chair of Wheelock's Elementary Education Department and from 2007-2010 she co-chaired the Faculty Senate. In 2010, she received the Gordon Marshall Fellowship and completed a collaborative research project focused on understanding the experiences of first-generation college students at Wheelock College.
- Banks-Santilli, L. (August 17, 2015). What does it take to become an elementary school teacher? Not just passion.
- Banks-Santilli, L. (June 3, 2015). Guilt is one of the biggest struggles first-generation college students face. The Washington Post.
- Banks-Santilli, L. (June 2, 2015). Feet on campus, heart at home: first-generation college students struggle with divided identities. www.theconversation.com.
- Banks-Santilli, L. (February/2014). First-Generation College Students and Their Pursuit of the American Dream. Journal of Case Studies in Education.
- Banks-Santilli, L. & Villegas-Reimers, E. (2013). First-Generation Students and Their Struggle to Succeed. Profiles in Diversity Journal.
- McKibbens, D., Shainker, S., & Banks-Santilli, L. (2008). Wheelock College: Focus Child Assessment Project. In (Eds.) Wise, A., Ehrenberg, P., & Leibbrand, J. It's All about Student Learning: Assessing Teacher Candidates' Ability to Impact P-12 Students, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, 203-212.
- Banks-Santilli, L. & de Almeida, J. (2007). Brazil. Greenwood Encyclopedia of Children's Issues Worldwide, Greenwood Press.
- Alkins, K., Banks-Santilli, L., Elliott, P., Guttenberg, N. & Kamii, M. (2006) Project QUEST: A Journey of Discovery with Beginning Teachers in Urban Schools. Equity & Excellence in Education, 39 (1), 65-80.
- Banks-Santilli, L. (2003) "Understanding the School Experiences of Six Learning Adaptive Behavior Students in a Boston Public Middle School." Harvard Graduate School of Education (Doctoral Dissertation).
- Co-Presenter, "Full-Service Community Schools," Wheelock College Alumni Association (February 12, 2009)
- Presenter, Singapore to Boston Study Tour: "Inclusion and Special Education in the United States" (June 15, 2006).
- Co-Presenter, "What do new urban teachers need from institutions of higher education? A focus on teacher identity development," Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA (April 11, 2006).
- Introduction to Elementary Teaching
- Practitioner as Researcher
- The Impact of Special Needs on Learning & Development
- Teaching & Learning in the Elementary Grades
- Elementary Capstone and Portfolio Development
- Curriculum Development for Inclusive Elementary Classrooms
Research Interests and Projects
- The social history of teaching in America
- Urban teacher preparation and retention
- Inclusive education
- Full service community schools
- First Generation Research Study: "Understanding the experiences of first generation college students' at Wheelock College" 2010-present