A new generation of teachers and leaders has an inspiring new facility in which to develop and learn how to use evidence-based strategies in education: Harold Clark Simmons Hall was dedicated at SMU on February 25, 2016. It is the second building for the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Harold Clark Simmons Hall (left) is a three-story, 40,000-square-foot facility located next to Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall.

Harold Clark Simmons Hall (left) is a three-story, 40,000-square-foot facility located next to Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall.

Annette Caldwell Simmons ’57 and her husband, the late Harold C. Simmons, gave $25 million in February 2013 to fund the new structure and three new endowed academic positions. Mrs. Simmons wished to recognize her husband and his lifelong commitment to education by naming Harold Clark Simmons Hall in his honor.

“The Simmons partnership, and this new building, expand the critical national and international role the Simmons School plays in research, development of innovative programs and leadership in the field of education,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are grateful to Annette and Harold Simmons for their insight and encouragement of evidence-based education.”

Harold Clark Simmons Hall includes eight classrooms, including the McCarthy Classroom, given by Connie McCarthy Sigel ’85 and Marc Sigel. Its six conference rooms include the McLamore Conference Room, a gift of the McLamore Family Foundation. The classrooms, conference rooms and 28 faculty offices feature floor-to-ceiling white boards to facilitate interactive learning.

In the Instructional Design Lab in Harold Clark Simmons Hall, education students practice using augmented reality applications on tablets to teach the alphabet. Students also use 3-D printers, 70-inch touch screens and large format printers to develop lesson plans that support student learning. The lab is one of three technologically equipped training laboratories in the Teacher Development Studio. The Teaching Performance Lab simulates pre-K–12 classroom environments with computer avatars standing in for students. The Assessment Lab trains teachers to use software to create assessments and evaluate student performance.

In the Instructional Design Lab in Harold Clark Simmons Hall, education students practice using augmented reality applications on tablets to teach the alphabet. Students also use 3-D printers, 70-inch touch screens and large format printers to develop lesson plans that support student learning. The lab is one of three technologically equipped training laboratories in the Teacher Development Studio. The Teaching Performance Lab simulates pre-K–12 classroom environments with computer avatars standing in for students. The Assessment Lab trains teachers to use software to create assessments and evaluate student performance.

The hall serves as home for The Budd Center: Involving Communities in Education, which focuses on a strategic and holistic approach to fighting poverty by transforming education. Endowed in 2014 by Russell and Dorothy Budd ’06, the center equips school districts and nonprofits to work together to meet the extraordinary needs of children living in poverty.

The new hall is also the home of the Department of Teaching and Learning, which prepares educators to be scholars and leaders through teacher education programs at the undergraduate, postbaccalaureate and graduate levels. Many faculty members actively work in local schools, focusing on reading, bilingual education, mathematics and special education.