The Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL) is kicking off its second J-WEL Week, a semiannual meeting of members to explore important new developments in learning science, pedagogy, adult learning, and digital learning practices. The meeting is themed “Learning Communities of the Future,” and participants will explore MIT educational research and teaching approaches as a catalyst for articulating goals and action plans for their own organizations.
“Through J-WEL, we will forge new and long-lasting collaborations as we learn, share, and train together, using the assets developed at MIT as well as by leveraging the community convened by J-WEL,” MIT Vice President for Open Learning Sanjay Sarma explains.
J-WEL Week is structured in three parallel, interwoven programs, one for each of the lab's three collaboratives — pK-12, Higher Education, and Workplace Learning — which come together in joint sessions throughout the meeting. The program was designed by J-WEL faculty directors professors Angela Becher, Eric Klopfer, and Hazel Sive, and Principal Research Scientist George Westerman, in cooperation with M.S. Vijay Kumar, J-WEL's executive director — who collectively bring to the program decades of experience and passion across pre-K-12, higher education, and workplace learning.
The participants are educators from across the globe, who are thinking deeply about educational challenges and opportunities. The more than 100 participants come from 23 countries, including Australia, Colombia, India, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Spain. The participants include university senior leadership, industry leaders, educators, government officials, and heads of leading foundations.
J-WEL Week convenes at various locations on the MIT campus and features outstanding educational innovators from the MIT community and its ecosystem. Speakers include Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson, MIT Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz, Associate Dean for Innovation Fiona Murray, Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz, and Dean of Science Michael Sipser; a number of professors, including Azra Aksamija, Craig Carter, Lorna Gibson, and Laura Schulz; and senior staff and students. A full list of speakers is available on the J-WEL website. Interactive sessions are planned with MIT programs including App Inventor, BioBuilder, Legatum Center, and Scratch.
J-WEL was launched in May 2017 by MIT and social enterprise organization Community Jameel. The chairperson of Community Jameel is alumnus Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel ’78, a life member of the MIT Corporation and 2016 recipient of the MIT Alumni Association’s highest honor for his history of service and philanthropy. J-WEL is named in honor of his father, the late Abdul Latif Jameel, founder of the Abdul Latif Jameel business, whose work to help the lives of tens of thousands of people is continued today by Community Jameel.
“Education and learning are fundamental to a strong society and economy,” says Fady Mohammed Jameel, president of Community Jameel International. “They promote employment and create increased opportunity for all.”