Math Early On continues work of Primarily Math, even earlier

Hawkins Exhibit
Hawkins Exhibit

Primarily Math is on course to continue into the future, as new cohorts of Nebraska teachers take part in professional development and community building. Now, Math Early On, an exciting new venture is just beginning. Based on Primarily Math's successful ideas and practices regarding what mathematical and pedagogical content, teachers of young children will have the opportunity to strengthen their capacities as teachers of young children by participating in Math Early On. This project is funded by the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and will pilot a program of professional development around mathematics for preschool teachers in the Educare Learning Network, beginning with the Educare schools of Lincoln and Omaha in 2014-2015. Ruth Heaton, Carolyn Edwards, and Victoria Molfese are project directors.

The aims for this project are to: (1) modify the Primarily Math professional development into Math Early On to meet the mathematics education needs of teachers, families and children at three Nebraska Educare schools in Omaha and Lincoln; (2) facilitate leadership development in mathematics education for the directors and master teachers; and (3) provide support structures needed to translate ideas learned in professional development to classroom practice both indoors and outdoors, as well as into partnerships with parents.

To kick off Math Early On, and to highlight STEM education at the early childhood level, UNL is bringing to Nebraska an educational exhibit fostering understanding of what it means to teach young children about science and math. The exhibit is called, Cultivate the Scientist in Every Child: The Philosophy of Frances and David Hawkins It was created by the Hawkins Centers for Learning in Boulder, Colorado, where the Hawkins lived, taught, and inspired progressive educators worldwide for many years and where their collected papers and publications are stored and shared with educators.

Please join us Friday, May 2, at 2 p.m. in UNL's International Quilt Study Center and Museum for an opening reception that celebrates the arrival of Cultivate the Scientist in Every Child. The exhibit showcases an inquiry-based approach to capturing children’s interest in science and math – an approach that activates their imaginations and natural curiosity by offering opportunities for exploration that lead to inspired discovery. The exhibit arrives at a time when schools across the country are actively pursuing ways to engage young students in the ever-critical fields of science and mathematics – a mission the University of Nebraska enthusiastically shares.

This opening celebration, which kicks off the exhibit's summer-long appearance in the Lincoln area, will feature:
* An up-close look at the exhibit, which previously traveled to sites that have included Ontario, Canada; Denver; Laramie, Wyoming; and Santa Fe, New Mexico
* Opening remarks from Dr. Ellen Hall, co-founder of the Hawkins Centers of Learning
* An introduction by Drs. Jay and Helen Featherstone, emeriti professors at Michigan State University and close friends of the Hawkins whose work inspired the exhibit
* The opportunity to learn about ongoing PK-12 STEM research and teacher education initiatives taking place at UNL
* An overview of upcoming "Messing About" workshops dedicated to the educational philosophies and strategies pioneered by the Hawkins to take place at the Educare of Lincoln on June 6-7, offering 7 hours of professional development to preschool and elementary educators.

To RSVP to the Opening Celebration, please go here: