As Hewitt’s Girls’ Research Scholar in Residence, Rachel Simmons works with faculty throughout the year on strategic projects to support young women’s leadership development, social media engagement, parent education and partnership, and our girl-centric learning culture.
Research Lives in Our Classrooms and Our Pedagogy
Research informs everything Hewitt teachers do every day. Research lives in our classrooms and our pedagogy, and our teachers coach each other through professional learning communities and peer-led workshops that sustain our daily commitment to a girl-centric education. Every teacher at Hewitt understands the research on why girls learn best in collaborative environments that support exploration, experimentation, and play. Each teacher also has ready access to a variety of resources and opportunities, both on-site and off-campus, to support mission-aligned, age-appropriate, and discipline-specific curricular design and lesson planning.
Lower school teachers are lifelong learners. Our faculty members passionately keep current with the latest research on girls. Their commitment to understanding the developmental path of girls in kindergarten to grade 4 informs their curriculum, their lesson planning, and their daily interactions with girls and their families.
From the very start, A Hewitt girl has both the freedom to let her mind engage new ideas and explore fresh perspectives and the certainty of a carefully plotted pedagogical path to follow, intentionally designed to carry her to places where she learns better and achieves more.
Hewitt lower school classrooms emphasize healthy relationships, collaboration, storytelling, building, creating, and play, providing girls a space to learn cooperatively with other girls and creating the ideal conditions for learning that research recommends.
Middle school programs build on research. Our approach turns on girls’ emotional, physiological, and intellectual development during early adolescence. Hewitt’s faculty members take very seriously their role as teachers of girls as well as teachers of a particular subject.
When our middle school teachers group Hewitt girls in teams to pursue a project or solve a problem, they are not just following a pedagogical trend. Rather, they are drawing on facts and findings and years of experience that definitively demonstrate how to best teach and reach girls.
Our middle school teachers love working with girls who are in the midst of this extraordinary developmental phase, and they employ a pedagogy that is rooted in the best research on girls' social-emotional and neuropsychological growth.
Upper school research-driven programs intersect with the story of each young woman. Our carefully designed classes provide ample opportunity for young women to grow in mind as well as heart.
Research reveals that girls who feel known and valued through trial and triumph learn more enthusiastically, think more adventurously, and grow into young women who thrive in college, career, and life itself.Research also shows that high-achieving young women are socialized to develop perfectionistic thinking and fixed mindset, in which they doubt their ability to grow from mistakes and failures. Hewitt faculty are trained to design curriculum and implement pedagogy that explicitly fosters a growth mindset in classrooms that are cooperative, collaborative, and relevant to young women.
Carl Honoré’s work with the Hewitt community has influenced the development of a new schedule and wellness programming in support of mindful learning, and his workshops for “slow parenting in the fast city” are a key part of Hewitt’s parent education program.
An expert on the social-emotional and cognitive development of girls and young women, Dr. Lisa Damour collaborates regularly with the Hewitt community, drawing on years of clinical experience and the latest research to provide sound, practical guidance to our families, faculty, and staff.