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Developing More Curious Minds


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After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, many people questioned why no one had anticipated the terrorists′ acts, even when events and intelligence seemed to point toward them. John Barell wonders if the attacks speak to a greater societal problem of complacency. He believes many students have become too passive in their learning, accepting information and “facts” as presented in textbooks, classes, and the media.

Table of contents

Models of Inquiry

Creating Schools of Inquiry

Writing Our Curiosities

About the authors

John Barell has been involved with inquiry ever since he read a book about Antarctic exploration. That book, Alone by Admiral Richard E. Byrd, led to questions about science, survival, and expeditions to the South Pole. Following a tour of duty with the Navy in Antarctica, he began teaching in New York City, continued at Montclair State University, and is now Professor, Emeritus at the university and a consultant at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. At the museum, he helps develop and coordinate educational plans for teachers and students interested in expanding their curriculum offerings to include alternative, more informal settings where their curiosities can freely explore the wonders of our planet—both inner and outer spaces.

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