Hillary Swanson says, "The best knowledge to have is the pure knowledge of unbounded consciousness; that knowledge will structure thoughts and actions that will nourish one’s environment the most."
by Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, USA, Achievements
10 January 2011
Hillary Swanson became fascinated with physics while taking Dr. John Hagelin’s Physics of the Unified Field course as a student at Maharishi School. She was intrigued by modern physics and how physicists model the unified field. Twelve years later, she is working on her Ph.D. in Physics Education at the University of California, Berkeley.
Hillary is not the first educator in her family. Her father, Gerald Swanson, taught business at MUM for 19 years and her mother, Sheila Swanson, is director of MUM’s Student Success Center. “Growing up with Maharishi’s knowledge and the idea of ‘the world is my family’ made me feel like whatever I do in life I would be happiest helping others,” Hillary said.
After graduating from Maharishi School, Hillary majored in physics at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, then returned to Fairfield to teach math, physics, and chemistry at Maharishi School for three years. She realized she loved teaching, so she completed her master’s degree in Secondary Education at Maharishi University of Management.
Next, Hillary set out for California to teach integrated math and physics at High Tech High, a charter high school where the curriculum focused on collaborative projects and modeling science education on the real world to make it more relevant to students.
Hillary became interested in the research and development of alternative approaches to teaching and applied to graduate school, where she studies theories of cognition and development. She also mentors student teachers and works on a variety of research projects. She is particularly interested in how learners' intuitive knowledge can be leveraged to construct scientific thinking.
“I’m interested in learning about how people learn, specifically how people learn physics, and designing instructional approaches based on that,” said Hillary. “It’s important to base your actions on knowledge. That’s Maharishi’s teaching. The best knowledge to have is the pure knowledge of unbounded consciousness, that knowledge will structure thoughts and actions that will nourish one’s environment the most.”
Hillary hopes her doctorate will enable her to work with teachers and students on a larger scale, making physics accessible and engaging to all learners.
© Copyright 2011, Maharishi University of Management