VIDEO: Exploring the Philosophy of Frances and David Hawkins

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Exhibit and Conference at Wheelock

Wheelock College hosted a day of hands-on exploration and scientific inquiry inspired by the education philosophy of Frances and David Hawkins.

This enriching professional development conference on Saturday, October 3, 2015 provided educators a chance to practice the many ways to cultivate the scientist in every student. Exhibits and activities illustrated the Hawkins’ dynamic approaches to teaching and learning that engage children’s existing curiosity using readily available materials.

This conference was an outgrowth of “Cultivate the Scientist in Every Child: The Philosophy of Frances and David Hawkins,” an exhibit of the Hawkins’ work hosted at the Earl Center in collaboration with the Hawkins Centers of Learning. This exciting exhibit, on display from Oct. 1 – Nov. 14, 2015, not only served as the catalyst for the daylong conference but also for outreach to New England educators. Documentation of our local children’s science inquiry was also on display.

The Legacy of Frances and David Hawkins

The legacy of the husband and wife team of Frances and David Hawkins continues to inspire education processionals through their philosophy of education. “To this day, David’s educational approaches, largely informed by Frances’ insightful classroom observations, inspire professionals worldwide.  David’s theories have been foundational to the renowned schools for young children in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and are expressed in many other venues.”(Source) The Hawkins exhibit “illustrates the dynamic approaches to learning and teaching that engage children’s existing curiosity using readily available materials.” (Source)


“What can we do to sustain curiosity, wonder and engagement?”


“The Hawkins ask, what can we do to sustain curiosity, wonder and engagement?” says Dr. Stephanie Cox Suarez, associate professor in the Department of Special and Elementary Education. “I love this question as we explore with teachers the importance of experimenting and playing—engaged teachers may foster engaged students. I am excited to bring the Hawkins exhibit to Wheelock because it is a public display of children and teachers’ imagination and engagement in learning—a refreshing perspective to our standards-based prescribed curriculum.”

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