The Private Eye - looking closely and thinking by analogy with jeweler's loupes and inquiry method for hands-on interdisciplinary science, art, writing, math, and more

The Story of The Private Eye Kits
The Story of The Private Eye Kits

Private Eye Class Kit

The Private Eye Kits
bring the drama and wonder of the world into the classroom every day. A small scale, with the help of the loupe and the power of analogy, is vivid and large. A few representative objects...and you feel you're in a park, a garden, a vacant lot, at a beach, a pond—to explore.


In the beginning...   The Private Eye Project was piloted in the Seattle Public Schools. The program began with grant funding from The Discuren Foundation in 1989. In addition to funding staff development, for each participating school the Foundation funded one Private Eye Kit—meant ot rotate like a library book among teachers—but one teacher would invariably horde the Kit. So the Foundation then funded 3 to 5 Kits per school, but 3 to 5 teachers would hold onto the kit, using it month after month. Teachers who could not get the kit began to ask for at least a teacher's guide and a class set of jeweler's loupes so they could use the process, too, year round, to accelerate students in all subjects.

While the practical solution is for each teacher to have a class set of loupes and a teacher's guide, many teachers and schools still want their own Kit. To meet the needs of various settings, we created smaller kits for individual, partner or small team use. Once you have any of these Private Eye kits, you'll know why teachers—and students—are so possessive!

You'll use The Private Eye Kits — in all subjects, at all grade levels — year after year for writing, drawing, theorizing. Within each kit are beautifully framed specimens evoking the feeling of a small art museum. Here the first stage of fieldwork is done for you. You and your students or colleagues will, of course, collect your own objects, but the framed collections create instant motivation, heighten concentration, and offer a model for collecting. They model, as well, how the scientist, writer, artiust, mathematician and social scientist work; they all begin in the real world and return again and again to it for inspiration. Included with The Private Eye Desk Set is a pocket version of The Private Eye Approach: The Private Eye--Simple Steps to a Magnified Mind. This handy booklet is also available separately.

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