Eleanor Duckworth

"The Having of Wonderful Ideas" & Other Essays on Teaching & Learning

Teachers College Press
ISBN 0-8077-2876-4

Grade focus: K-2, 3-5

The Having of Wonderful Ideas includes ten wide-ranging essays that will appeal to early childhood and elementary school teachers who wish to apply Piaget's research in teaching. While touching on many subjects -- from teaching and learning science, mathematics, and language to teacher education -- each of these essays stresses "the importance of taking children's knowledge and feelings into account as starting places," and encourages "an approach to education that allows occasions for learners, whether children or teachers, to construct their own knowledge."

The book includes a wealth of stories taken from the author's work with children and teachers that will be of interest to both teachers and teacher educators. These stories relate to topics such as effects of the motion of the earth and its position with regard to the moon and the sun, numbers, measurement, and geometry. The main contribution of the book is not to give an account of students ideas in specific areas of the curriculum, but to enhance educators' understanding of the diversity and development of students' thinking, and of ways that teachers can support this development.