Private Eye is a program about the drama and wonder of looking
closely at the world, thinking by analogy, changing scale and
theorizing. Designed to develop critical thinking skills,
creativity and scientific literacy - across subjects - it's
based on a simple set of tools that
produce "gifted" results.
Hands on, investigative, The Private Eye - using everyday
objects, a jeweler's
loupe, and simple questions - accelerates
science, writing, art, math and social studies, as well as
vocational and technological education.
Whether you enter The
Private Eye on your own using The Private Eye guide and jeweler's
loupes, or whether you opt to attend a Private Eye workshop -
you'll discover that it builds communication, problem solving,
and concentration skills. For K-16 through life, all levels,
The Private Eye develops "the interdisciplinary mind."
Student using a jeweler's loupe
Private Eye inquriy process
Thumbnail sketch of the tools and process: The aim of
The Private Eye is to bring out the gifted in everyone: to
bring out the scientist, writer, artist, mathematician and
social scientist. The Private Eye is built around the use of
a jeweler's loupe, a series of questions, and everyday objects. With
the creation of The Private Eye, Kerry Ruef pioneered the
use of jeweler's loupes in education.
jeweler's loupe is a magical magnification tool, quite different
from and superior to a hand lens in its use and effect. It helps strip a
thing of its stereotyped image so that real discovery, real
thinking can begin.
second "magnification tool" is a pair of questions;
as you loupe-look at your own fingerprint, or a piece of
popcorn or a flower or a spider you'll ask these questions
to evoke thinking by analogy, the main tool of the scientist,
poet, visual artist, inventor, humorist, teacher, preacher,
and more. These analogies, written (in the compressed form
of metaphors and similes), become the bones-for-poems, essays,
short stories - and become the foundation for hypothesizing,
theorizing, for answering the question: "Why is it like
Private Eye is a year round tool, just as pencil, paper (or
a computer) and thinking are year-round, life-long tools.