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The Having of Wonderful Ideas: And Other Essays on Teaching and Learning
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The Having of Wonderful Ideas: And Other Essays on Teaching and Learning

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Provides an introduction to the author's writings and includes a chapter on critical exploration in the classroom. Touching on many subjects, the essays in this work support the author's belief that the having of wonderful ideas is the essence of intellectual development, and that the focus of education should be on the learner's point of view.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Teachers College Press (first published 1987)
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One of the most beautiful books I have ever read. I loved the book and more than it I loved the author, Eleanor Duckworth. She put a wide smile on my face through each page of the book. I loved her passion about teaching and learning and the way she expressed the ideas.The book was so eye opener for me to new ideas and ways of learning that I am so eager to apply with kids and teachers. It wasn't an easy read and I couldn't grasp all the ideas written, so I have to spend time re-read the book ...more
Jan 01, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it
I want to adopt Duckworth's ideas into my teaching style. A great read for any teacher, teacher-in-training.
John Hilton
Nov 24, 2010 John Hilton rated it it was amazing
This book has really shaped my views on learning and teaching. Fabulous!
Emily Freeman
Nov 28, 2014 Emily Freeman rated it really liked it
I finally finished this book! It took forever - it's a very academic book, and the early essays were difficult for me to get through without losing concentration. But, I appreciated it partly because of it's density - so many passages underlined and annotated for me to go back and think about again. Often, those annotated passages say much the same thing, in different ways. I didn't find that irritating, though. I felt like it grounded me and got through to me in a way that stuck eventually. In ...more
Jan 27, 2011 Christina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(There's a third edition that includes a new intro and a chapter on the importance of teaching critical thinking about peace and social justice...should get my hands on that.)

Duckworth studied under educational theorist Jean Piaget, and here she does an excellent job of both explaining his ideas and furthering them into her own research and work with teacher education. Knowledge constructed by you in your own time in your own way is much more deeply understood and becomes a part of you moreso th
Shifting Phases
Jul 04, 2011 Shifting Phases rated it liked it
Some examples of classroom dialogue using Piagetian techniques, but mostly interpretation and philosophy. Unfortunately, it is exactly what I'm not looking for. from p. 1: "...I consider it the essence of pedagogy to give Kevin the occasion to have his wonderful ideas and to let him feel good about himself for having them."

Um, yes. I don't need to be convinced of this. Consequently, reading extended narratives about how people came to see the relevance of Piaget was not helpful to me. As a start
Gina Weibel
Mar 25, 2011 Gina Weibel rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite book from the education side of my grad school experience. The essays clearly put into words exactly what is going on inside the mind of a child as learning unfolds. With this fresh perspective on the process, I approach educating from a better angle.

Any parent and/or educator can benefit from reading and rereading this book every few years, as we strive to guide our children to "the having of wonderful ideas."
Jonna Higgins-Freese
Feb 15, 2013 Jonna Higgins-Freese rated it really liked it
I didn't read the whole thing, but found the collection quite engaging. There was a lovely essay about using this method (of allowing students to interact with the material and draw their own conclusions) in medical education in the NICU, and another one I continue to think about, related to teachers in a class experimenting with weight and density -- and struggling to formulate what they were seeing, and why, even though they "knew" the standard definitions and concepts.
Mar 18, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
Very academic in nature and assumes I've read a bunch of Piaget that I've certainly not read, but I gave it four stars for all the interesting ideas I found in it. Now, applying those ideas...
May 15, 2011 Tara added it
Started off strong, but then left me wanting for a more complete and thorough coverage of the topic. Needed more meat around the skeleton of her good thoughts.
Jun 21, 2008 Rabin rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
"...helping children to come honestly to terms with their own ideas is not difficult to do....The only difficulty is that teachers are rarely encouraged to do that." Word.
Dan DeMaioNewton
Oct 19, 2013 Dan DeMaioNewton rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life, career, and beliefs. Clearly spelled out, this book demonstrates the need for learning over teaching and changed my views on how to really teach well.
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“Teachers are often, and understandably, impatient for their students to develop clear and adequate ideas. But putting ideas in relation to each other isn't a simple job. It's confusing and this confusion does take time. All of us need time for our confusion if we are to build the breadth and depth that give significance to our knowledge.” 1 likes
“What I have learned from the teachers with whom I have worked is that, just as there is no simple solution to the arms race, there is no simple answer to how to work with children in the classroom. It is a matter of being present as a whole person, with your own thoughts and feelings, and of accepting children as whole people, with their own thoughts and feelings. It's a matter of working very hard to find out what those thoughts and feelings are, as a starting point for developing a view of a world in which people are as much concerned about other people security as they are about their own” 0 likes
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