Until May 3, 2013 Cultivate the Scientist in Every Child: The Philosophy of Frances and David Hawkins, the exhibit created by Hawkins Centers of Learning, is on display at The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado. For more information, click here.
From June 3 to July 19, the exhibit will be at the Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center, at the University of Wyoming. 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY
Frances and David Hawkins (Frances d. 2006, David d. 2002) were educational theorists whose work is expressed worldwide. Frances was primarily a teacher. Her observations and reflections formed the basis of David’s theories. Their concepts were inspirational to the pedagogy of the world-renowned infant toddler centers and pre-schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and are currently articulated in many schools, museums and other educational organizations. Frances and David worked with both teachers and children, using curiosity-based education, which did not rely on prepared curricula.
Their lifetime of work together produced approaches to education that inspired dedication and passion in teachers and students. Students learned about science and math while deeply engaged in projects that interested them. The children’s investigations, freed from the confines of textbook-based curricula, held compelling qualities that drew engagement from their teachers. Teachers who themselves had experience with open-ended exploration of materials were better able to deepen and extend their students’ learning experiences.
Their approaches to learning are starkly contrasted against the current national educational mandates, which are based on predesigned curricula. Textbooks are to be followed to the letter, and much emphasis is on “teaching-to-the test.” The teacher’s role, stripped of creativity, is to get what is in the books into the students’ heads. Is it any wonder that the teacher attrition rate in the US has increased 50% during the past 15 years? And who will speak for today’s students?
Frances and David Hawkins spoke with and for both teachers and students. Their message is especially vital today. Hawkins Centers of Learning’s efforts in workshops, gatherings, writings and presentations are directed towards developing professionals, who appreciate and are prepared to articulate and practice curiosity-based approaches to education.