Review: The Having of Wonderful Ideas provides both a personal and professional series of essays about education and change by one of the leading authors and researchers concerned with inquiry learning. Duckworth, who now teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, worked with Jean Piaget in Geneva and with the Elementary Science Study Project which initiated much of the current effort to support a hands-on approach to exploring science. Duckworth argues in this book that children's exploration of the world around them is essential to their intellectual development.
Other Information: The Having of Wonderful Ideas ($17.95) is available from Teachers College Press, PO Box 20, williston, VT 05495-0020. Call 800-575-6566, fax 802-864-7626. Online http://www.teacherscollegepress.com
Jimmy Karlan strives to create, "Problem solving classrooms where students are as encouraged to find problems as they are to think about how they are going to solve them. [Such a classroom] is also a place where failures are viewed as opportunities and a place to construct ones own understanding of phenomena."
What are the ecological consequences of turning a plot of woods and an adjacent field into a parking lot? This is the broad question that framed a fifteen day inquiry for a group of middle school students who were participating in a summer science experience designed, in part, to explore techniques for developing communities of inquiry in science classrooms.
During the past decade, some of the most exciting scientific information has been represented not through the dense jargon that formerly put off general readers, but in essays by such writers as Lewis Thomas and Carl Sagan. The combination of speculation, rumination and fact has found a home in the essay.
I'm always reminded that the richest and most fruitful learning springs not necessarily from the content of a lesson plan but from a chance to test ideas about the world against real experiences with real things.
During the past decade, some of the most exciting scientific information has been represented not through the dense jargon that formerly put off general readers, but in essays by such writers as Lewis Thomas and Carl Sagan. The combination of speculation, rumination and fact has found a home in the essay, a term which comes from the French word meaning "to try" to try and understand something important to the writer.
For the past three years science teacher Amy Furst and I have taught a unit on science essays. This is defined to our 8th grade students as: "...an attempt to understand and explain a science related subject. It should involve investigation into the topic and you your interest and curiosity. The science essay is not about regurgitating encyclopedia articles. Its about the quality and effort of your questions, investigations and thinking. Good essays are about the writer as much as the topic."