Eleanor Duckworth’s essay “The Having of Wonderful Ideas” (The Having of Wonderful Ideas and Other Essays, Teacher’s College Press, 1987) proposes a radical way to support learning and intellectual development.
In my paraphrase: her idea is to give the learner a relatively unstructured, but well-equipped space in which to explore, and create hypotheses, and construct experiments, and ask questions, and ultimately have wonderful ideas about, the stuff of the world. Which her research shows helps people learn better and intellectually develop more.
I propose a session in which we imagine what it would be like to construct these kinds of environments in higher education, in various traditional disciplines, and of course in the Digital Humanities, and in our various workplaces, and what it would be like to learn in them, and how we would assess them.
People interested in this will have to read the article prior, due to our shared commitment to intellectual rigor and general conscientiousness, which suggests we should hold it in the afternoon, but it’s only 14 pages, and I’m sure we can figure out how to get appropriate access to all interested.
Results will be gathered in a collaboratively-edited google doc and will revolutionize the world.