At the age of nine, Cynthia Herbert’s mother enrolled her in the Children’s Theater at Baylor University. The program was based on the “Integration of Abilities” university course and philosophy that Paul Baker originated. When Baker and his company moved to Trinity University in 1963, former students of the theater followed, including Herbert. Baker and Wagner offered Herbert a full-time teaching position in the “Ideas in Motion Program,” along with a full tuition scholarship so that she could afford to attend Trinity as well.
In 1971 Wagner and Herbert, along with several other former students of Wagner’s, established the Learning About Learning Educational Foundation. While at Learning About Learning, Herbert created a multitude of interactive books for children and guidebooks and teaching tools for adults. In the 1970s, she co-directed an award-winning lab school. During the early 1980s Herbert pursued and received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in developmental psychology at the University of Houston, where she focused on the development in metacognition through imaginative play.
Herbert then developed teaching modules, guides, lesson plans and activities for several school districts, in particular for the Houston Independent School District, working with other LAL partners and continuing the philosophies embodied in the Learning About Learning programs as well as in her own experience at the Baylor Children’s Theater. She summed up the origins of her philosophy when she noted,
“because of my participation [in Baylor Children’s Theater], I grew up thinking that all people had creative potential, that each person had creative strengths, and that diversity and inclusion were essential.”