Saturday, March 9, 2013

wonderful ideas

From The Having of Wonderful Ideas
by Eleanor Duckworth (1996)

The having of wonderful ideas is what I consider the essence of intellectual development... In making things work in a classroom, it was but a small part compared with finding ways to interest children, to take into account different children's interests and abilities... You don't want to cover a subject; you want to uncover it... uncover parts of the world that children would not otherwise know how to tackle. Wonderful ideas are built on other wonderful ideas... There are two aspects to providing occasions for wonderful ideas. One is being willing to accept children's ideas. The other is providing a setting that suggests wonderful ideas to children- different ideas to different children as they are caught up in intellectual problems that are real to them... The best one can do is to make such knowledge, such familiarity, seem interesting and accessible to the child... such a way as to catch their interest... realize that their ideas are significant- so that they have the interest, the ability, and the self-confidence to go on by themselves... First, teachers themselves must learn in the way that the children in their classes will be learning... Intelligence cannot develop without matter to think about. The more we help children to have their wonderful ideas and to feel good about themselves for having them, the more likely it is that they will some day happen upon wonderful ideas that no one else has happened upon before.

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