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The Hollingworth Center
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

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About the Center > Mission Statement

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About the Center

Mission Statement

"Tests. That's all they care about. That's coming from the top. I have to raise all of my scores, get all my twos to threes and all my threes to fours: They don't care about any talents these kids have."

A teacher in Community School District 5, New York City

It is unfortunate that many educational institutions, in the wake of high stakes testing, have little regard for the diverse talents young children bring to school. Early on, children are sorted by deficiencies and are then provided with predetermined, narrowly defined activities designed to raise test scores. The talents of these very same children are often neglected.

Step into The Hollingworth Center and you enter a learning community that nurtures the talents of all young children. Here, the service, research, and demonstration programs celebrate the creative potential of every child. Here, education is regarded as a transformative experience that empowers each learner with a deep understanding of and regard for his or her strengths. Here, a commitment to developing these capabilities is embraced. Here, educators, graduate students, researchers, and parents together recognize the contributions to the community that are within the capacity of each child.

The members and programs of this learning community are diverse and varied, yet each shares the mission of The Hollingworth Center: to provide service, demonstration, and research projects that focus on the talent development of all young children.

Walk into our community  and you may meet…

…the child who commutes to the Preschool from the South Bronx each day with her great grandmother and confidently celebrates her bold painting strokes at the easel.

…the professor in Karachi, Pakistan who works with teachers in his community to recognize and support the talents among the poorest children in his city.

…the Teachers College graduate student who works with teachers and children in District 5 and witnesses first-hand the amazing capacities of these students.

….the teacher who collects portfolio samples for all of  the children in her universal pre-kindergarten class because she recognizes that every child has a talent that will flourish.

…the child who, for the first time, is introduced to a model science  program and discovers her passion for flight exploration.

…the graduate student who is a teacher educator from a developing  county who immerses herself in the resources and programs of the Center and is now confident that she can share her new expertise with aspiring teachers in her home community.

…the TC grad, now a professor at a small college, who comes to the Book Talk group for sustenance and conversation with other alumnae.

…the administrators of a Jewish Day School in New York City and a  Muslim Day School in New Jersey who welcome the opportunity for their young students to participate in the Global Village Book Talk.

…the international graduate student who embraces her experiences at  the Preschool and is now equipped to return to her country to replicate the program.

…the child in District 5 who has been labeled a "struggling  student" yet waits eagerly for his weekly Project APEX activity  because he has discovered his great facility with building blocks  and creating three-dimensional designs.

…the parent, who after attending a workshop, has greater confidence  in his ability to nurture his young child's development.

…the four-year-old child who, when asked by President Levine "Do you  want to be a paleontologist when you grow up?" answered with great sincerity "I already am a paleontologist."

…the graduate student who designs an innovative science curriculum that enables young learners to explore, create, and learn through empowering experiences.

…the Israeli child living in a small village on the West Bank who is  eager to share her artistic response from the Book Talk with her peers in Pakistan and Harlem.

The mission of The Hollingworth Center is guided by the following program goals:

1.       To support and carry out the mission of Teachers College.

2.      To provide Teachers College graduate students with clinical and research experiences articulated closely with their academic programs to prepare the next generation's leaders in education.*

3.      To design and implement outreach programs that serve administrators, teachers, and paraprofessionals in the community to educate the current generation of leaders in practice and policy to meet the challenges they face.

4.      To design and implement demonstration programs that serve children and families in the community and provide model programs to educators to improve practice in educational institutions.

5.      To support the program and professional development in early childhood classrooms in New York City Public School Districts 3 and 5 to improve practice in those institutions.

6.      To support program development and provide outreach to international sites to improve practice in educational institutions.

7.      To undertake research and disseminate best practices to engage in research on the central issues facing education and shape the public debate and public policy in education.


*Italicized phrases are from the Teachers College Mission Statement, 2002

Preschool Quick Info

  • Preschool Quick Info

    We are accepting applications for the 2016-2017 year on a rolling basis. For more information or to request an application, please call the Preschool Office at (212) 678-3403.
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Camp Quick Info

  • Camp Quick Info

    For information on how to apply to Science Camp 2016, please email