Igniting Creative and Critical Thinking in Early Childhood Classrooms! with Dr. Nancy B. Hertzog

Broadcast January 27, 2024

You cannot make people learn. You can only provide the right conditions for learning to happen. ” – Vince Gowmon

Young students enter their learning environments with a diverse array of prior experiences including family cultures and traditions, knowledge of languages, and exposure to technology and academics. Challenging all of them to grow toward their potential in inclusive environments takes strong beliefs in the competencies of the children as well as pedagogical expertise. Dr. Hertzog shares inspirations from her visits to Reggio Emilia, Italy where learning environments are carefully designed to entice and provoke creativity and higher level thinking. Participants are invited to imagine classrooms as workshops where students represent and express their ideas with media and materials, and where iterations, edits, and expansions of ideas facilitate and enhance children’s conceptual growth and understandings. Examples of how young students pursue inquiry and engage in topics in depth are presented.

About the presenter

Nancy B. Hertzog, PhD, University of Washington, USA, is professor of Learning Sciences and Human Development and the former Director of the Robinson Center for Young Scholars (2010-2020). Her research examines curricular practices and policies in the field of gifted education. From 1995 to 2010 she was on the faculty in the Department of Special Education and directed University Primary School, an early childhood gifted program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Collaboratively with the head teachers, she won several curriculum awards from the Curriculum Division of the National Association for Gifted Children. Currently her research focuses on equity and access to advanced learning opportunities in schools, and pedagogical strategies that help teachers challenge all students. She has published three books and several chapters on early childhood gifted education, and numerous articles in gifted education. She is currently serving as a member-at-large on the Board of the National Association for Gifted Children.