For Christine Lindeman 80F, a Hampshire education has informed an entire career. In July, Lindeman will become director of the Common School in Amherst. The position is the latest in what has been an extensive career in progressive schooling, including 17 years at Fayerweather Street School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"I chose Hampshire because I was looking for something that wasn't the typical college experience. I wanted more," Lindeman said. "I started as an art major and shifted because I tried so many different things. [Hampshire's] whole notion of Divisional education allows students to do that. I wasn't locked into a certain path, and the ability to go in different directions was incredibly powerful. "
Lindeman built her Hampshire divisional studies around human development and art. Her Division III (senior) project was entitled "From The Mind's Eye."
"It examined how children's artwork tells you where they are and what their experiences have been," she said. "I looked at a variety of artwork from children of different circumstances, primarily focusing on [the work of] Robert Coles."
Coles is a prominent child psychiatrist and Harvard College professor, whose research and writings have involved years of observing and talking with children from throughout the corners of this country.
"I was intrigued by how he learned so much from simply spending time with children, playing games, watching and being watched, listening to them, and drawing with them. That was new stuff for me, and something I have used every day since becoming a teacher, and listener and observer, of children," Lindeman said.
As she makes her return to Amherst, Lindeman reflects on Hampshire's effect on her career:
"I took a path that led me into education and I have found a strong sense of purpose in making sure that teaching and learning is never about ?proving,' but about ensuring that our children have broader perspectives and set goals for themselves that are more than a grade or test score.
"When I start to think more strategically about the work of schools, I do hark back to my experiences as a young learner. I do stop and think about the types of questions and the things that were put on my plate in my learning.
"I credit my time at Hampshire for setting that stage and expecting so much more of me than I had experienced anywhere else."