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

reviewed by Susan Pass - January 12, 2007

coverTitle: The Having of Wonderful Ideas: And Other Essays on Teaching and Learning
Author(s): Eleanor Duckworth
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807747300 , Pages: 224, Year: 2006
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The "Having of Wonderful Ideas" and Other Essays on Teaching and Learning is a delightfully charming book that explains complex genetic epistemology (e.g., Jean Piaget) in a very reader-friendly manner. In many ways, especially when it comes to synopsizing Piaget's experiments, the analysis is more clearly written than what Piaget himself wrote. The author also reveals little known facts about Piaget's genetic epistemology as she writes about what good teaching should be. Most accomplished teachers would agree with the author's major premise that one has to get to know one's students (and their learning proclivities) before being able to teach them well. What separates Eleanor Duckworth from the rest of the pack is that she does this in a thoroughly Piagetian way. Basically, Duckworth argues that it is only through constructivist-based education (where one is prompted to explain how one learns) that one really learns. According to Piaget and Duckworth, people learn... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 12, 2007
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12925, Date Accessed: 8/8/2020 1:01:54 PM

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About the Author
  • Susan Pass
    Clemson University
    E-mail Author
    SUSAN PASS is assistant professor of secondary social studies education at Clemson University. Prior to going into higher education five years ago, she was a classroom teacher for over 17 years. Her interests include tracing the ideas of constructivism to their origins; exploring a pedagogy that can unite both Piaget and Vygotsky; researching the impact that teaching strategy has upon students achievement, motivation, and sense of teacher effectiveness; and exploring how the use of constructivism can solve teaching problems in the social studies. Current publications include: Pass, S., White, J., Weir, J., & Owens, E. (2006, November). Enhancing classroom communications to create cultural bridges. Social Studies and the Young Learner 19 (2), 16-18; Pass, S, & Campbell, R. (2006, Summer). Using the history of African American civil rights leaders to teach leadership to high school students. The Social Studies, 172-177; Pass, S. (2007, Spring). A classroom discipline plan that teaches democracy. Issues in Teacher Education 16, (1), 1-15. Current projects include: two Watson-Brown grants (2006 and 2007) to teach American high school teachers about the South's contributions to American history; exploring why college students give low Student Evaluation of Instructor (SEI) ratings to constructivist professors; exploring the impact of doing research on one's students has upon SEI ratings; and serving on the National Assessment Committee for the National Council for the Social Studies in order to combat high-stakes testing.
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