What Is a Laboratory School?

  • A student teacher working with two Burris elementary students

    Laboratory Schools Train Teachers

    Burris was established in 1929 as part of Ball State Teacher’s College.

    Part of the school’s mission is to provide a model clinical setting for preparing future teachers pursuing education degrees at Ball State. Teachers in training are called pre-service teachers.

    In the 2016-2017 academic year, pre-service teachers logged more than 19,000 hours of engaged teaching at Burris. With so many pre-service teachers, Burris students have more opportunities to interact with educators and mentors.

    Burris classrooms are also open to observation by university students. In 2016-2017, the school recorded 850 observation sessions.  

    They Engage in Research, Too

    girls basketballLaboratory schools also promote research to advance teaching and better understand students and how they learn. 

    Research is conducted using student subjects only with written parent or guardian approval. And all research is regulated by the Institutional Review Board to ensure the project meets high ethical and scientific standards.

    Concussion Research

    In recent years, Burris has partnered with Ball State’s Neuropsychology Lab to map the brains of student-athletes and study how concussions affect them. Researchers hope the study will help leaders write national concussion protocols for student athletes.

    Hand-Grip Research

    Working with the Ball State School of Kinesiology, Burris is helping to determine whether hand-grip strength correlates to academic achievement.

    Studies in adults have suggested a correlation between grip strength and cognitive functioning.

    Students in gym class spend time on the school’s climbing wall and perform other exercises to increase strength. Researchers are monitoring strength gains and academic performance.