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 Private Eye Testimonials   Private Eye Testimonials

We've received thousands of testimonials over the years.  We include a small sampling here:

University Educators / Professional Scientists,
Writers, & Artists
"The pattern-recognition skills embedded in The Private Eye are central to learning systems thinking. When children (and adults) apply the lessons of The Private Eye to their own contexts, they can improve their higher-order thinking and become more ecologically aware — a valuable approach to enhancing ecoliteracy in the classroom and beyond.”

Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist; founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, CA; author of The Tao of Physics, The Turning Point, The Web of Life, and The Hidden Connections
Classroom Teachers & Administrators, PreK-12
Workshop Testimonials
Afterschool Reviews
Educational Press
Homeschool and Parent Reviews

Private Eye Testimonials: University Educators / Professional Scientists, Writers, & Artists
University Educators / Professional Scientists,
Writers, & Artists

"A stunning eye opener to our surroundings. ...makes the scientific process a joy - for kids and adults.  A must for educational reform in science."
  — Dr. Dennis Kunkel, Neurobiologist, award-winning photomicrographer
        University of Hawaii, HI

"The Private Eye is an outstanding instructional approach, consistent with the ways that scientists teach about the world."
  —Jeff Estes, Manager of Science Education Programs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), WA

"I very much enjoyed The Private Eye. It is a wonderful document, which I intend to keep on my shelves for ready reference."
  — Dr. Thomas Eisner, Director, Cornell Institute for Research in Chemical Ecology

"I'm very impressed. A really exciting way to bring out the gifted in everyone."
  — Joseph Renzulli, Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut; Director, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented

"...exceptionally ingenious and effective program for science teaching. ... I am very conscious of the importance of thoughtful, lively innovations that substantially raise the students' interest and thus raise the educational results. The Private Eye Project is the most promising such innovation I have ever seen."
  — Charles L. Remington, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Yale University; Curator, Yale Natural History Museum

"What a fantastically successful and effective program! I'm tremendously impressed. It's the best, most innovative program I've seen in a long time."
  — Professor Ola Edwards, Biologist, University of Washington

"The Private Eye is a powerful program for fostering ecoliteracy. Loupe-looking, coupled with the analogy questioning strategy, allow us easily to connect to the natural world. The Private Eye makes us closer observers, reawakening our sense of wonder.”
  — Zenobia Barlow, Director and Founder, The Center for Ecoliteracy

"The pattern-recognition skills embedded in The Private Eye are central to learning systems thinking. When children (and adults) apply the lessons of The Private Eye to their own contexts, they can improve their higher-order thinking and become more ecologically aware — a valuable approach to enhancing ecoliteracy in the classroom and beyond.”
  — Fritjof Capra, Ph.D., physicist and systems theorist; founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, CA; author of The Tao of Physics, The Turning Point, The Web of Life, and The Hidden Connections

"No need to reinvent the wheel with science education when you already have The Private Eye."
  — Dr. Nancy Hutchison, Staff Scientist, Genetics Director, Science Outreach, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA

"... an exciting approach to engaging students in the art of scientific and mathematical thinking. It should be a part of every school program."
  — George "Pinky" Nelson, Ph.D., Astronomer, University of Washington; Former Director Project 2061

"A visionary work.  The Private Eye is a gift to all those who care about language."
  — Richard Lederer, author of The Miracle of Language, Crazy English, and Pun and Games

"Every person I've exposed this to has fallen in love with it.  It's just phenomenal."
  — Amy Ouchley, Biology Professor, NE Louisiana University

"So much of the wonder of our world goes unseen and unnoticed.  With The Private Eye, the world becomes ever more fascinating... That alone would be enough—but your text goes far beyond—[leading us] to analyze, observe again, make analogies and transference."
  — Arthur L. Costa, eminent thinking skills researcher, Professor Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento, CA;  Former President, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development

"Writers are people who see what many others miss.  The Private Eye teaches us all to look at the world as writers do."
  — Vicki Spandel, Write Traits/Great Source

"The materials are well-thought out and beautifully expressed. Each page is a work of art[...]Both the Private Eye and Godly Play are involved deeply in the strange symmetry that you need to love to know and know to love. Our connections need to be personal."
  — Jerome Berryman, author, Godly Play

"Today I sat in the rain and opened your book to a joy that increased with each page.  My reactions: how incredibly creative to incorporate the arts with science and math in such a natural manner, it is truly interdisciplinary - very motivation, and will help open our students' eyes to the universe."
  — Camille Wainwright, Director, School of Education, Pacific University, OR

"The best system I've seen for getting students to hypothesize."
  — Steven Moore, Assistant Director, Center for Image Processing, Tucson, AZ

"After looking through the book, I felt like I'd walked in the front door of heaven.  What really impresses me is the scientific learning that you've built into observation, and the chance to draw.  I think how you've tied thinking by analogy and theorizing with the loupe is spectacular."
  — Ann H. Zwinger, Naturalist and author of The Mysterious Lands and Downcanyon

"The Private Eye is a wonderful contribution to literacy, poetry and ecological awareness."
  — Robert Hass, Former U.S. Poet Laureate and National Book Award winner, Professor, University of California at Berkeley, CA

"A really good program.  There's nothing even close to it."
 — Larry Wade, University of St. Thomas, MN

“The Private Eye process is fantastic!  I am so excited and want to share your materials with teachers and other educators!!!  The Private Eye fits directly into my personal mission of encouraging nature time for children.  I've been talking about the book The Last Child in the Woods (by Richard Louv) with anyone who will listen to me.  The Private Eye process is one big answer to getting kids excited about nature.  Please allow me to spread the word in Mississippi."
 — Terri Jacobson, Wildlife Biologist & Outreach Specialist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jackson, MS

"Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for the wonderful 2 days at Birmingham Botanical Gardens!  It was wonderful -- truly a life-changing experience, and I am already using the loupe and inquiry with my kids.  As a poet and just as a person, you have enriched my life, and I thank you."
 — Irene Latham, Alabama State Poetry Society’s 2006 Poet of the Year, Birmingham, AL

"The Private Eye is fabulous for adults.  It gives people an immediate experience of the creative process."
 — Bonnie Zimmerman, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Stanford University Medical School, CA

"Once again we need Loupes for our Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers.  Every year we start out on the first day with The Private Eye.  It sets the tone for the entire Institute!  I am so glad to see you thriving and expanding The Private Eye year by year!  It is still my favorite program."
 — Professor Ola Edwards, Biologist, University of Washington, WA

"As an ecological educator in the Mattole watershed, I visit six different schools in three separate school districts, and work with students from K-12.  When I stumbled across “The Private Eye” curriculum—one of the most exciting teaching tools I’d ever seen—I couldn’t wait to introduce other teachers and students to “loupe world.”  The loupes and questions are a terrific adjunct to any ecological program.  But what to start with?  So much to look at, so little time!
 — C. L. Moss, Ecological Educator, Mattole River Watershed, CA

"The Private Eye is one of the most authentic inquiry-based programs I've encountered. It gives students tool that are easily obtained and techniques that are accessible to all to do truly authentic scientific investigation."
 — Sam Kindervater, McWane Science Center, Birmingham, AL

“This really is the best program going for meeting teachers' and students' needs in so many ways on so many levels.  Personally, professionally, financially (i.e. cost of materials), etc etc." — Beverly B. Radford, Director, Alabama Hands-on Science Activity Project, University of Alabama at Birmingham

“The Private Eye gets students of all ages to wonder and think like a scientist, to problem solve like a scientist.  And it creates an environmental sensitivity, essential to any environmental education program.  I have always been inspired by what The Private Eye does.  To catalyze wonder and discovery is a wonderful thing and you are doing it in spades."
 — Ed Melvin, Washington Sea Grant Fisheries Scientist, Packard Grant Award Winner, University of Washington

"I recently visited a first-grade classroom where students were looking at ladybugs.  Their Private Eye loupes made this activity thrilling and magnitudes more educational than it might have been otherwise.   Now that science is returning to elementary schools, more teachers have the opportunity to make close observation one of their everyday activities.   Earth's Birthday Project is committed to helping you make this happen!"
 — Kathryn Brewer, Director of Educational Programs, Earth's Birthday Project

"Serendipity. I ordered Kerry Ruef's excellent book The Private Eye: Looking/Thinking by Analogy.  It is truly, pardon the pun, an eye-opener.  I try to get young and old to resist the usual way of thinking, and this book, and your project ought to be in every school.  I will be ordering a few items, and plan to keep in touch.  Cheers.  Keep up the great work.
 — Dr. R. D. B. Laime, Albuquerque, NM

"Private Eye Rules!  If you haven't had Kerry come talk to your teachers/school districts, be sure to do it soon - I was blown away when I attended her session at this years M&M Meeting in Portland - I don't think I stopped smiling the entire time b/c she was so "on target."
 — Dr. Sherry Cady, Assistant Professor of Geology, Portland State University

"The Private Eye opens up a new world to people of all ages and makes us want to probe the micro-world, a place we often dismiss, though it is an important part of our natural world. The song lyric (Such as Love – by Peter Paul and Mary) puts the Private Eye in context – “When you are young and always looking at the far side of the hill, you might miss the fairest flower standing by you very still.” We have before us the macro world in which we choose to concentrate, with a whole new world of infinite pieces, a flower if you will, that we can readily see with the aid of Private Eye."
 — Dr. Joe Baust, Past President of the North American Association for Environmental Education; Director of the Center for Environmental Education at Murray State University,

Private Eye Testimonials: Classroom Teachers & Administrators, K-12
Classroom Teachers & Administrators, K-12:

I’ve been using Ruef’s innovative program for years, with fabulous results.  The jeweler’s loupes literally change the way we look at the world, and her “thinking by analogy” helps students find commonality instead of divisiveness in the world."
   Peggy Dills Kelter
      Hood River School District, Hood River, OR

"Your STEM course was powerful and has changed my approcach to science teaching. I can already see the difference with my students and we are only on week 3 of using the loupes."
   Allyson Dubuque
      Beaverton School District. Beaverton, OR

"I think The Private Eye aligns beautifully with the rigor we see in the English Language Arts Common Core Standards. It will be a great way to help our students communicate about their observations!"
Molly Malloy, District Science Resource Teacher, Orange County Public Schools, FL

"When I began using loupes with my class of four-year-olds and they begin making detailed observational drawings, my appreciation and expectations for their capabilities increased greatly!"
   Karen McLlroy, Project Specialist Tucson USD,
      preschool base and preschool special education programs. Tucson, A

“I truly believe you have unlocked the mystery for getting kids to observe on a deeper lever, write and draw to explain what they have seen and then question and hypothesize and theorize which is key to beginning to truly admire and respect the world we live in.”
   Sharon Burnett,
       Orange County Public Schools, FL 

"I have been instructing elementary and middle school teachers using The Private Eye Curriculum for more than ten years.   Teachers love this program.   As teachers use the loupe for the first time and answer the thought provoking questions they are captivated. And they are amazed how this program can bring about deep understanding and spark creativity with so many integration possibilities."
 —Gene Easter, Brushfire Science Consultants, Tallmadge, OH

"I have been teaching High School Biology for 30+ year, and I love using "Private Eye" with my classes.  I first discovered Private Eye at a workshop conference in Seattle years ago, and I have added the materials and lessons to the curriculum every time I have come to a new school.  My niece is currently doing her student teaching in a second grade class and will graduate from Penn State in the spring.  As a graduation present to her, I am putting together a Private Eye Kit to inspire her in her new career.  Thanks for the inspiration over the years, and for a wonderful graduation gift idea!"
  — Laurel Flyer, Sandy Spring Friends School, Sandy Spring, Maryland

"We were first introduced to The Private Eye when my now 18 year old son was in 5th grade.  He is a kid who is all large motor skills still (great athlete).   The drawing he did on that one day is so awesome and still amazes me. That wonderful teacher has moved on and so I have taken it upon myself to spend the summer with my 15 and 10 year olds weaving it in our summer adventures.
Even when we aren't drawing, when we see things out in the world, we always ask ourselves the Private Eye questions.  Makes life so much richer."

Sarah Brooks

“It’s unbelievable the language that my kids come up with. The writing! The poetry! It’s an incredible tool. The Private  Eye is a dynamic process that pushes my kids to excel, and they do!”
 — Sara Nelson, Gladys Weymouth School, Morrill, ME

"I used The Private Eye last year on my very first day in my new school with rousing success. I am really looking forward to introducing the entire teaching staff to the program next month. My new school, after 3 years of preparation, was just  this spring authorized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Being an IB World School is really big deal, and the  specialized holistic curriculum emphasizes student-driven,  inquiry-based "everything!"    I can't think of a more receptive and appropriate  place for The Private Eye."
 —Lynn Gerbode, Harvard Elementary, Houston, TX

"The most influential program you can put in a school.  The loupe is the best little tool you'll ever find.  The Private Eye guide is the best book around."
  — Jeff Self, Teacher, Presidential Award Recipient, Eureka City Schools, CA

"WOW! It's marvelous. It really increases the students' abilities to make analogies."
  — Lori Johnston, GATE Teacher, Signal Hill School District, Belleville, IL

"I truly was caught on fire and so were my students. ...After using The Private Eye the students have a whole new perspective on their writing skills."
  — Kathy Mannion, Teacher, Woodstock, GA

"It's been nine years since I started using The Private Eye in my classroom. (3rd grade) The kids love it. Their writing, drawing and thinking is amazing!!"
  — Virginia Gould, Teacher, Spokane, WA

"I have been teaching for two years. In grad school they say integrate but they don't say how. This makes it so easy. This one automatically integrates everything."
  — Amy Gay, Teacher, Roseburg, OR

"It was unbelievable.  Many adults were so moved by the experience they cried.  A colleague, 70 years old from London, brought back a memory from his boyhood - stimulated by looking closely at a branch of a wheat plant.  The poetry was friend wrote a poem from her connections, and analogies with a seashell that took her back to a trip to the beach shortly after she discovered that she was pregnant and discovered she was RH-negative.  [A colleague] and I are going to write an article [on The Private Eye] for our Cornerstone Connections and publish the poetry.  We have asked the authors of the poetry for permission to share their work - it's a go.  When we get it done we will email it to you.  Thanks a million, it was a terrific success."
 — Rebecca McKay, Alabama Teacher of the Year, Munford City Schools, AL

"Kids love it. I'm amazed at the analogies made at even 3rd grade level."
  — Lindell Haggin, Teacher, Spokane School District, Spokane, WA

"I have used The Private Eye for ten years now. It never fails to engage students in learning. The wonderment it creates is super, especially those students who are hard to reach."
  — Greg Wotta, Teacher, Costa Mesa, CA

"I just got home from CAST in Houston - I couldn't stop talking about the workshop. I want my kids to experience this - open their eyes. Thanks for the great presentation!!!"
  — Sabra Paul, 7th Grade Science Teacher, Library Science Student, "Closet Writer," Sugarland, TX

"The Private Eye is a great researched-based resource for inquiry-based instruction, writing integration with science, and creative sparkler! It's such a profound concept made simple."
  — Becky Wivagg, Science Resource Specialist, ESC Region 12, Waco, TX

"It's transformational—this paying attention to detail and staying engaged with a flower or shell or insect.  The Private Eye creates a habit of engagement when they [students] say what else it reminds them of.  Having the questions to answer and 'Let's write about and draw it.' — The Private Eye is a doorway into that.  It's changed my life."
  — Ann Pelo, Teacher, Hilltop Children's Center, Seattle, WA

"The Private Eye fits hand and glove with what most Montessori teachers are trying to do.  Makes me wish I were back in the classroom."
  — Marcia Clark, Director/Principal, Great Beginnings Montessori School, Fairfield, CT

"I have used The Private Eye loupes and process with students from four to sixty-four.  I always get extraordinary results from any age writer."
  — Rebecca McKay, Alabama Teacher of the Year, Munford City Schools, AL

"I am mesmerized by your book!!!  Wow!!!"
  — Marcy Fowler, teacher, Pasadena, CA

"When the kids read their Private Eye poems they knew it was much better than anything they'd been writing before."
   — Luanne Johnson, teacher, Birmingham, AL

"The book was fascinating.  I spent the entire four hour plane trip reading it and making notes.  There was so much that was germane to our Arts and Literacy project as well as a variety of other departure points for our elementary art teachers.  As a result, I wanted each of my art teachers to have a copy so that they could explore all of the processes and activities for themselves."
  — Janet Kahn, Director, Fine Arts Program, Albuquerque Public Schools, NM

“I have parents who refuse to believe that their son wrote his hand poem by himself.  They think I gave him the words.   The loupe and questions unlock a richness of language which is in the children."
  — Libby Sinclair, Teacher, Decatur Elementary

“I introduced this to both my classes and to students in other classrooms.  Students who usually write well and enjoy it gained enthusiasm and skill.  Students who have not written in a creative manner before stopped me in the hall and begged me to come back into their classroom so they could ‘write again.’"
  — Jan Toth, Teacher, Whiman Middle School

"I used this kit with outstanding success in 9th-10th grade Language Arts at Marshall Evening Alternative School.  We used [The Private Eye] to write poems, with accompanying drawings.  We studied analogies as a way to explain and emphasize ideas, the pervasiveness of analogous thinking and the use of analogies in science, math, literary creation, ie., reading, writing, thinking, speaking..."
  — Johnnie McKinley, Teacher, Marshall Evening Alternative School, WA

“I took The Private Eye course fifteen years ago.  It’s awesome.  I’ve used it [The Private Eye] every year for poetry, art, small living organisms and now I’m going to use it in an environmental unit.”
  — Amy Frank, 6th Grade Teacher, Sawyer Woods Elementary, Kent, WA

“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind -creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers."  (Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.) Considering our future thinkers explains why I couldn't provide my students with any better program in preparation for integrated thought in art, math, science and literature than The Private Eye Project!”
 — Diane Garmire
      Art teacher, Spokane , WA

"I teach 4 year old preschoolers and your loupes are perfect for them.  They have no trouble learning how to use the loupes and they work so much better than regular magnifying glasses."
  — Sara Hudson, Henrico, VA

Private Eye Workshop Testimonials
Workshop Testimonials:

"This [The Private Eye]   was the best workshop session the whole conference." NSTA National, , 2015
  —Dr. Kay Phelps, Adjunct Professor, Ft. Lewis College, Delores, Colorado

“Thank you so much for the fantastic keynote workshop. You were a big hit, and the room just crackled with activity as well as oohs and aahs, and laughter. Everyone is looking forward  to sharing  the passion and adventure of the learning experiences you  have encouraged in  all of us.”
    Sue Burgard, Director
         21st Century Community Learning Centers
         South Dakota State Department of Education

“My teachers were so excited about the workshop and kits. I've never seen something so powerful as The Private Eye!”   
  —Sara Flusche, Lab Facilitator, North Central Texas College, Gainesville, TX

"This [The Private Eye NSTA workshop] was absolutely amazing…one of the best sessions of the week!"
  —Stacy M Lynch, Dudley-Charlton Regional School District, Dudley, MA

"The best workshop workshop I went to all day [NSTA  Boston 2014]."
  —Jane Lucia, Williston Northampton School, Easthampton, MA

"The best session at the NSTA conference!"
  —Mary Snedeker, Essex Town SD, Essex Junction, VT

"Thanks so much for a great two was all the talk in the faculty rooms the rest of the week, I've had nothing but rave reviews."
  — Kathe Poteet, K-12 Science Resource Specialist, Modesto School District, CA

“The Private Eye is fantastic for both teachers and students alike. We choose The Private Eye Train-the-Trainers as an exemplary staff development program—one that would also give our students the best tools for success.”
     — Sandra Antalis, Manager, Elementary Science, Houston Independent School District

"Thanks again for opening my eyes to a fabulous teaching technique.  I feel like Wonder Woman sometimes when I use your strategies and suddenly kids start getting really focused and really creative!  All hail anything that encourages divergent thinking! "
     —Sabrina England, Teacher
         Mission, South Dakota

"The Private Eye was one of the most enjoyable and eye-opening trainings I have ever been to.  I debated about waiting until after standardized testing to allow my students to explore with the loupes; but I just could not wait.  I pulled them out the very next day.  My students had a blast with the loupes and with the items I did in my journal (I shared it all with them)!  I am excited about doing more and more with the loupes in the upcoming months and years!!!"
    — Keri Jones, Glen Oaks Elementary School
         Fairfield, Alabama

“The CAST [Texas Science Teachers Association] session was mind-blowing, as I’m sure it was for a lot of people. It was truly an eye-opening experience, no pun intended.”
    —John Muse, St, Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, Houston Texas

"The Private Eye workshop was wonderful. We're going to do this inside out and upside down!"
  — Jennifer Jordan, 2nd grade teacher, Lakeville Elementary, Orlando, FL

“I’ve made over 800 presentations all over the world and exhibited at hundreds of conferences, and I’ve never seen the level of enthusiasm following a presentation as I did from the teachers coming from Kerry Ruef’s Private Eye session. It was almost like a religious experience.”
    — Ron Perkins, CEO
         Educational Innovations

"Our teachers that came to the training this summer cannot stop raving about what they learned."
    —Joan Walker, Science Resource Teacher
        Curriculum Services, Orange County Public Schools, FL

"One of the best science workshops I've ever been to. The presenters were terrific."
  — David Ackerman, Principal, Seattle Public Schools, WA

"My favorite session at the  NSTA conference."
                                - Michael Becker, Oregon Middle School Teacher of the Year, 2008

"My teachers loved the 2-day Private Eye workshop and most write that they thought it was the best workshop that they had ever attended!!!"
  — Shirley Farrell, Supervisor of Gifted Education, Jefferson County Board of Education, Birmingham, AL

"What a fantastic day that was! Everyone loved your presentation. Your work is wonderful."
  — Dee Goldberg, Science Resource Specialist, Spring Branch School District, Houston, TX

"The best workshop I've been to, ever. It really changed my thinking; it really changed my approach to what I'm doing with the kids."
  — Gail Greenleaf, teacher, Tucson Unified School District, AZ

"This reminds me of what I have always dreamed an excellent workshop should look like (be like, feel like…).  I got the ideas, the inspiration and the tools to go away with and use in my class Monday morning.  Thanks."
  — Don Craigmyle, Vice Principal, McKenzie Elementary, Victoria, BC, Canada

"The workshop met and exceeded all of the expectations I had for providing our excellent teaching staff the professional development they deserve. The presentation, materials, and activities are extremely engaging. It is unusual to have such overwhelming confirmation from teachers about the high quality of an in service opportunity, but your workshop is indeed one of those rare exceptions. I've never had as many folks say thank you and provide positive comments about a workshop, as I experienced following The Private Eye Workshop. More importantly, both current and past attendees of your workshops continue to use their Private Eye experience with students in new and exciting ways in our schools."
  — Regi Christensen, Director of School Improvement, Sutherlin School District, Sutherlin, OR

"There is no substitute for working with the originator of a powerful concept. (An unsolicited endorsement for the wonders of Kerry & David!)"
  — Gail Paulin, Secondary Science Resource Specialist, Tucson Unified School District, AZ

“This really is the best program going for meeting teachers' and students' needs in so many ways on so many levels.  Personally, professionally, financially (i.e. cost of materials), etc etc."
 — Beverly B. Radford, Director, Alabama Hands-on Science Activity Project, University of Alabama at Birmingham

"I was forced to teach science this year, and I felt really stupid, you know, uncomfortable.  I felt like I didn't know enough.  But now after this workshop [The Private Eye], I know I'm going to love it.  I'm so excited."
 — Cynthia Anderman, teacher, Jessie Dean Smith Elementary, Gadsden, AL

"My name is Lynda Raquel and I teach 5th grade for Lodi Unified School District.  I was recently introduced to your loupes at the CSTA Conference in San Francisco, where I participated in The Private Eye workshop.  I absolutely love these things and bought half a class set and the book that day! Now I would like to place an order so that I will have a full class set.  When I brought the loupes home from the conference my 5-year-old and 11-year-old were equally impressed and went around the house 'louping' for 2 hours! I think they are a wonderful addition to the curriculum at any grade level and I feel teachers at my site would be receptive to learning more about them."
  — Lynda Raquel, teacher, Lodi Unified School District, Lodi, CA

“After fourteen years of teaching, I was kind of burned out, and this changed the way I think and will change the way I teach.  A whole new way of looking at things. I needed that.”
  — Jamey Curlee, Teacher, 7th Grade Biology, Hewitt Trussville Middle School, Trussville, AL

“I’m so excited!  The Private Eye is an opportunity to emphasize ‘No wrong answer' and to open the students up. I’m going to use the Fingerprint activity next September to emphasize their individuality.   It will help draw them out of their shells.”
 — Michelle Head, Teacher of 6th, 7th and 8th RLC English, Gifted Program, Heweytown Middle School, AL

“Awesome workshop!  It’ll help them [gifted students] move away from group think to more independent thinking.”
  — Kit Mawhinney, Teacher, Gifted Program, Grades 3-5, Jefferson County Schools, AL

"The workshop was wonderful.  My teachers can't stop talking about it."
  — Connic Miller, Principal, Riverside Elementary, Puyallup, WA

"Quite the best presentation I've been to in years."
  — Beverly Gruhn, Teacher, Millstream Elementary, Victoria, BC, Canada

"The Private Eye is truly the best resource I could ever recommend to teachers, and for that, I thank you! The most generous workshop I've ever been to." —  Dana Meronuk, Gifted Resource Coordinator, Simon Fraser University

"Everyone was amazed at the incredible, hands-on experience that they could take right back the classroom.  I was impressed with the range and depth and research of the presentation."
  — Erica Godfrey, Science Coordinator, Victoria School District, BC, Canada

"I have never felt more authentically engaged in scientific speculation."
  — Wayne Thom, Teacher, Saanich Schools, Victoria, BC, Canada

"Best workshop I've been in."
  — Judith Kelby, Librarian, Coleman Elementary, Seattle, WA

"Your workshop was dynamite."
  — Marsha Dains, Teacher, Arroyo Seco Junior High School, SEARCH (Interdisciplinary team), Valencia, CA

       “I used it consistently since attending the workshop eight year ago.  It's a fantastic way for motivating the ELL kids.  A lot of my kids are from Mexico or Asia and they need the language development quickly - The Private Eye is a great stimulus, especially with the thinking by analogy component!  I am really gung ho.
        It stimulates every area of the curriculum and gets the kids to look with detail, kids that normally rush through everything: wham bam.  Some of these kids I call the Teflon kids because nothing sticks; they want to get everything over with quickly.  But The Private Eye gets them to look with interest and depth, and gets them to think in detail and in depth.  I want all the students in the school to have this; I love it so much I'm willing to fork over my own money!  It's exciting.  What an improvement it's made with these kids.
        I have a lot of hand lenses but the loupe is so perfect because it cuts out distractions and really gets the kids to focus.  The Private Eye really helps prepare them for the state tests.  The Private Eye gets them thinking in detail, thinking in steps, always asking the questions 'What's next? What's next?'"
  — Mary Talwar, Teacher, Belle Vista Elementary, Monterey Park, CA

"Your presentation was truly engaging for everyone.  I wish you could have seen the use of the loupes as the week progressed.[…]  I know the work you are doing will touch many lives."
  — Susan Iwamoto, Coordinator of the Math Their Way workshop, Saratoga, CA

"I've never seen my teachers so involved [as in The Private Eye workshop]."
  — Nancy Chin, Principal, Laurelhurst Elementary, Seattle Public Schools

"The teachers in our writing workshop for teachers loved the presentation from Private Eye, and were able to gain numerous strategies to take back to the classroom, strategies they could apply not just in science, but with all of their students' writing."
  — Larry Colton, Executive Director, Community of Writers, Portland, OR

"I was really impressed with the level of materials - even down to the strawberry - and how immediately the integrated approach could be applied to the classroom.  Teachers were using it the very next day.  This is so valuable!"
  —  Virginia Jumbo, Principal, Crownpoint Community School (BIA), NM

"The summer Private Eye workshop certainly opened my eyes.  I am using the loupes and the ideas in my fifth grade class all the time."
  — David Lamb, Teacher, Seattle, WA

"Nobody's as good as David and Kerry.  I could have a million of their workshops it wouldn't be enough.  The teachers just ate it up.  They just loved it."
  — Patsy Magee, Science Supervisor K-12, Beaumont ISD, Beaumont, TX

“I can not imagine a workshop any better, any richer, any more rewarding, anywhere, than the two days I’ve spent with The Private Eye."
  — Martha Russell, Science Resource Coordinator, Gadsden City Schools, Gadsden, AL

"Your environment was a delight. The activities really turned on the teachers."
  — Anne Taylor, Professor, University of New Mexico School of Architecture, Director, Architecture and Children

"Thanks a bunch for the fantastic Private Eye experience at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It was wonderful professional development for me, and I appreciate all the time, energy, enthusiasm, and expertise that you brought to the workshop. Bravo!!"
  — Joe Burns, Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Education

“I can't describe the enthusiasm for that your workshop generated. Teachers who I have been at my wits end to involve in arts integration suddenly see the light. I have plans at every grade level involving The Private Eye and third grade teachers have asked me to team with them on a fingerprint lesson. I thought your presentation was engaging and full of new insights. I am in awe of all your knowledge and how creatively you synthesize it."
 — Faylinda Kodis, Arts Coordinator, Claremont Immersion Elementary School, Arlington, VA

"Truly enjoyed Kerry Ruef's presentation about The Private Eye: Hands-On Inquiry program during the NSTA National Conference in New Orleans last week. Just placed an order for equipment and can't wait to have my students experience the program!"

Lyn Colleen Streck
Lower School Science
Durham Academy
Durham, North Carolina


Private Eye Testimonials: Educational Press
Afterschool Reviews:

“Thank you so much for the fantastic keynote workshop. You were a big hit, and the room just crackled with activity as well as oohs and aahs, and laughter. Everyone is looking forward  to sharing  the passion and adventure of the learning experiences you  have encouraged in  all of us.”
    Sue Burgard, Director
         21st Century Community Learning Centers
         South Dakota State Department of Education

"The activities in the curriculum are flexible and can serve as individual or group projects. The Private Eye program is adaptable, a good stimulus for creativity, and interdisciplinary in nature.  It does not require extensive planning or preparation time... I have not seen many programs that allow students to so easily and effectively engage in inquiry in math, science, writing, and the arts."
  — John Ervin, Afterschool Program Expert, Coordinator and Evaluator of After-School Programs

Private Eye Testimonials: Educational Press
Educational Press:

"With The Private Eye, connecting through analogy brings the world into perspective, and at the same time stretches the observer's thinking. ... All through the curriculum, the possibilities are endless."
  — Katie Johnson - Teacher/Consultant: Educational Leadership (ASCD)

 "A wonderful introduction to the creative use of inquiry science in almost any classroom, by any teacher. Science professionals also can learn from it how to present their specialty in a classroom in a way that will communicate excitement and encourage further inquiry."
  — Caroline Schooley: The Journal of the Microscopy Society of America

 "An excellent resource manual for teachers to use...Being a science teacher, I found the different themes of science from insect anatomy, plant photosynthesis to topographical ideas to be very useful. The Private Eye provides many great classroom ideas for all subjects and all grade levels. I like the idea of being able to take the loupes anywhere inside or outside the school."
  — Steve Hoffman - Middle School Science Teacher: CEA Voice

"The Private Eye Project has published a fascinating workbook to help teachers develop their pupils' creativity and scientific literacy...[It] encourages kids to look really closely at nature and discover how math, art, science and other fields are related."
  — "School News": Parents Express

"Using the loupe thrills kids. They're eager to learn, and because of the integrated approach to learning, they learn a lot."
  — Jay Howard - Consultant: BC Education News

 "The Private Eye is a good buy for teachers and all who would learn more about the unique planet we live on. Anyone who believes that s/he has 'seen it all' need travel no farther than his or her back yard with a Private Eye."
  — Charles Yaple - Editor: Taproot

 "If you have been needing something to spice up your teaching of metaphors and analogies in your art lessons, this might do the trick."
  — Colleen Kennedy - Secondary Art Dept. Head: NAEAnews

 "My class responded to this kit with overwhelming enthusiasm! They didn't want to stop, even when I announced we had to go home. These simple tools produced outstanding results in subjects across the curriculum."
  — Jane Jernigan, Teacher: Learning

"wonderful book"
  — School Arts

"The loupe approach to instruction...elicits exciting possibilities for any curriculum.  ... [My] students made analogies based on their observations, then wrote descriptive paragraphs.  The results were exciting and persuaded me that 'loupe looking' can lead to greater development of students' writing and thinking skills"
  — Gerry Waller, Middle Ground (National Middle School Association)

"Once you've read and used this book you and your children will never again view the natural world in the same way."
  — Wendy Priesnitz, Natural Life

"This book takes the reader on a journey of discovery that incorporates science, art, literature, and creative thinking.  The author leads the reader through the creative process, quoting writers and scientists and presenting solid scientific research.  Open, study, and explore this book and discover the treasures waiting within."
  — Dolores Choat, Science and Children (NSTA)

Flower Homeschool and Parent:

“I have incorporated The Private Eye into our regular program and the poems and pictures continue to amaze me. What a brilliant way to enable children to communicate clearly what they feel. What an inspiring way for them to learn how to use their minds.”
  —Merida Sculley-Dixon, Parent,Whidbey Island, WA

"It's so easy to pop The Private Eye curriculum into anything we're doing. I've seen so much growth with my children doing the thinking by analogy process, even when they're not using the loupes. It's a great method.It's a great model. I'm in love with it!"
  —Elizabeth Vandegrift, Norfolk, VA
"Our son is now sixteen and I see still the effects of the Private Eye in his writing. Your program was one of the best homeschooling tools we ever used"
  — Linda Riordan, Parent

"Time spent going through the program outlined in The Private Eye Guide is an excellent investment for intellectual achievement in school and throughout life."
  — Ted Wade, author, The Homeschool Manual

"A creative thinking program, designed to encourage science, math, art, writing, and pure imagination...[The Private Eye] stretches the mind...the sky's the limit."
  — Becky Rupp, Home Education Magazine

"A remarkable and complete course of study for grades 'K-12 through life'...You will find hundreds of fascinating facts and activities to use with this remarkable interdisciplinary program."
  — Diane Flynn Keith, HomeFires

"Thinking by analogy becomes easy when using The Private Eye program... [an] affordable, hands-on curriculum supplement."
  — Sandra K. Smith, Florida Parent Educators Association Almanac

"The Private Eye Project has developed a wonderfully simple tool for stimulating thought, inquiry, exploration and creativity....using the loupe is fun and engaging for both children and adults, either at home or in school."
  — Seth Rockmuller, AllPIE: Options In Learning

"The Private Eye is an open ended tool to help a student think 'better'. The exercises are applicable over many different areas of study and skill development...Of special interest are actual examples of teachers using Private Eye concepts to enhance their regular coursework."
  — Michael T. Smith, Inland Empire Home School News

"I AM IMPRESSED! At times as I was flipping through it, I got the notion that I could use this book and nothing else for about 60% of my child's entire education experience, K-12."
  — Debra Eisenmann, Ozark Lore Society Networker

"An excellent coverage of analogies, their importance and how to use them...The guide is based on...up to date educational theory, which is consistent with current neurological research. In short, the program makes sense."
  — Jean Ottosen, Myrr


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