Wesley Education Research Center

Wesley Education Research Center for Early Childhood Education is the leading organization in advocating the philosophies, methodologies and values of Progressive Education within the Wesley Education Family. Pioneered by John Dewey, the founding father of modern education movements in US, Progressive Education flourishes in the pursuit of fostering a cooperative community citizen and developing individuals’  capacities ever since.

Management Team

The Wesley Education Research Center is established in response to serving the common needs from Wesley affiliated schools worldwide. It aims at advocating progressive education and its methodologies within Wesley schools and beyond. The center attracts seasoned professionals with track records in education reform and innovations and draws on human resources from Wesley Schools worldwide. With a strong management team, the center is well positioned to offer quality educational resources to our affiliated schools, from Pre-K to K12.

Director: Dr. Dwight W. Allen

Dr. Dwight W. Allen is the Director at Wesley Education Research Center. Dr. Allen is an adamant advocate for progressive education in US and internationally. He co-chaired the WorldAgInfo Design Team, a project that developed recommendations for agricultural information initiatives in South Asia and Africa for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Allen has advocated educational reform in various disciplines and has actively engaged in many reform initiatives for Progressive Education. He has published in many professional journals and has written nine books in the field of education reform, educational technology and educational assessment. During his career, Dr. Allen served as a professor at Stanford University, Dean of the School of Education, University of Massachusetts and as Chief Technical Advisor to various UN agencies, including UNESCO, UNICEF and UNDP. He received his BA, MA and Ed.D. From Stanford University.

Deputy Director: Tianhe Frank Wang

Tianhe Wang is the Deputy Director at Wesley Education Research Center. Mr. Wang leads our assessment team to develop and deploy a web-based, standard compliant, data-driven learning assessment system. The system applies Big Data Technology to record students' progress and assess teachers' performance; It also enables differentiated learning by grouping students with identical abilities together and applying developmentally appropriate learning materials to satisfy individual learning needs. With expertise in the integration of curriculum and technology, Mr. Wang has 22 years of experiences of applying innovative technologies to enhance classroom experiences and to deliver better academic outcomes. Before joining forces with Wesley Education, Mr. Wang was a senior manager at Dulwich College Management. He supervised Dulwich's educational programs in preschool and senior school across China; Mr. Wang also headed a national research program commissioned by the Ministry of Education, on the subject of integration of curriculum and technology and played a key role in rolling out the first national standards in the field.

Chief Operation Officer: Jim Onderdonk

James Onderdonk, Ph.D. is the program director of the Read Aloud Program at Wesley Education Research Center. He leads our curriculum development team to design and develop a web-based, classroom enabled, media library which hosts review cards on authentic, classic English literature for young children, promotes learning by doing through storytelling approach, guides students to solve problems in the story while developing social and emotional qualities at the same time. It also encourages exchanges of the best reading practices among affiliated schools to Wesley Education. Jim brings on board his 35 years of experiences in developing and delivering innovative educational programs. Before he joined forces with Wesley Education, he served as the Director of The Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (I-CHASS) and the Division Chief of the Institutes of Innovative Learning Solutions at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. His expertise centers on applying empowering technologies to accelerate research and education and has published in that field.

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