The Hollingworth Center, a program within the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University, is a service, research, and demonstration site. The Center is designed to provide internship and training opportunities for the gradute students of Teachers College, develop model programs in early childhood education, and offer enriched educational services for children, families, and educators.
Primarily concerned with nuturing the talent development of all young children, the Center maintains a special commitment to creating and implementing programs for underserved children and teachers in urban schools, and designing model curricula in areas traditionally neglected in elementary schools. The Hollingworth Center was established by Professor James Borland and Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs in 1981. Since that time it has been internationally recognized for exemplary programs, grant projects, teacher development efforts, and research contributions. Dr. Lisa Wright joined The Hollingworth Center in 1987 and is the current Director.
A primary research goal of The Hollingworth Center focuses on the talent development of young children from diverse backgrounds. The Center has contributed to the body of research concerning the identification and support of talent in young children from economically disadvantaged families. The Center's Director was the co-recipient of two Paper of the Year Awards from the National Association of Gifted Children for articles related to this topic. Other Center interests include differentiated curriculum design, the scientific and spatial thinking of young children, the development of novice preschool teachers in public school settings, and global understanding and leadership in young children.
Based on the work of the Hollingworth Preschool, The Hollingworth Center is assisting with the development of a model early childhood program in Wangige, Kenya. This program includes teacher education, curriculum development, and direct work with children. Members of The Hollingworth Center's staff work on-site in Kenya and future plans include a study trip to Kenya for Teachers College graduate students and visits from the Kenyan teachers to The Hollingworth Center
Hollingworth Center maintains a pivotal role in nurturing the global understanding and leadership potential of all children. Toward this end, the Global Village Book Talk Group fosters a deeper cultural appreciation of the approximately 100 eight-, nine-, and ten-year-old students who participate. The children and teachers of the Group are drawn from six different schools: four schools in the greater New York metropolitan area and two schools overseas. The local schools include a Muslim elementary school in New Jersey, an Orthodox Jewish day school in Manhattan, a public school in Harlem, and a suburban school in Connecticut. The two schools oversea include a public school in a village on the West Bank of Israel and a private school in Karachi, Pakistan. Through this project, the children read and respond to selected multicultural picture books. Their work is shared digitally through a gallery show at Teachers College. As a culminating event, the children from the four local schools meet at Teachers College for a day to participate in a Book Talk, a Poetry Reading Festival, and a community art project. Graduate students assist in the facilitation of this project.