Publication Date: March 1, 2000
Series: Practitioner Inquiry Series
This volume represents the first effort to present—and teach—the descriptive processes, philosophy, and values developed at the Prospect Archives and Center for Education and Research in North Bennington, Vermont. Through story and essay, it introduces a disciplined, collaborative method for understanding children as thinkers and learners called the descriptive review of the child. Developed through the Prospect Center, under the leadership of Patricia F. Carini, the descriptive review is a mode of inquiry that draws on the rich, detailed knowledge teachers and parents have of children and on their ability to describe those children in full and balanced ways, so that they become visible as complex persons with particular strengths, interests, and capacities. In an educational climate that calls increasingly for standardization, this book is a timely resource for educators, parents, and administrators who value individual human capacity.
About the authors: Margaret Himley is associate professor of Writing and English at Syracuse University. Patricia F. Carini is an author, speaker, educator, and co-founder of the Prospect School and Center.
"A wholly original thinker, Pat Carini is one of the great educators of our time. In this book, Margaret Himley captures both her thinking and the detail of her work. "
—Eleanor Duckworth, Harvard University
“At long last, Pat Carini and her colleagues have published their extraordinary process of descriptive child review. Built on a solid foundation of human capacity, this single volume offers me hope that sustained collaborative inquiry will triumph as our most typical classroom practice.”
—Celia Oyler, Teachers College, Columbia University
“For more than 30 years Patricia Carini and a network of progressive educators have engaged in systematic observations and descriptions of children and their learning. Given the current educational climate, this book is particularly important, because it argues eloquently against reducing children to grades or tests scores and instead demonstrates the importance of careful observation of children as physical, social, emotional, artistic, intellectual and ethical beings.”
—Sarah Hudelson, Arizona State University