Important questions include ‘explain’, ‘why’, or by the problem; they were given opportunities to Notes
‘how’ a child reached a particular conclusion. This be creative; the social component was supportive Thomas C. O’Brien and
informs the teacher about what the child knows. A and safe, even when there was disagreement. They Judy Barnett, ‘Fasten
your seat belts,’ Phi Delta
focus on strengths helps a teacher formulate what thought about, questioned, and articulated their Kappan, 85(3), 201-6,
the next step for a particular child should be. thinking. November 2003.
There are two observations, which we think are And, quite different from the research approach Thomas C. O’Brien and
significant for the practice of education in general. so commonplace in today’s education, which inves- Judy Barnett, ‘Hold on to
your hat,’ MT187, June
These observations – and the prior work we have tigates the effect of the treatment on the organism 2004.
reported – show the payoff of a problem-solving (i.e., ‘What changes are brought about by this or Thomas C. O’Brien and
approach to learning. Rather than being shown a that brand of breakfast cereal, this television Chris Wallach, ‘Children
bunch of patterns and asked to remember and commercial or this curriculum?’), we are interested Teach a Chicken,’ MT193,
produce them at test time, children responded to in the effect of the organism on the treatment. That is, Thomas C. O’Brien, ‘A
the challenge create some patterns. what do children make of things? How do they act Lesson on Logical
on, construct, represent (‘to bring to mind by Necessity,’ Teaching
description,’) the world? Children Mathematics,
Learning is provoked adaptation 13(1), August 2006.
Throughout the process, the children were asked to Thomas C. O’Brien and
Tom O’Brien is a former NATO Senior Research Chris Wallach,
think about the problem with which they were Fellow in Science. He lives in Walnut Creek, ‘Children’s Construction
involved. They reflected on similarities between California, USA.
of Logical Necessity,’
patterns, used patterns to demonstrate an organisa- Primary Mathematics,
Chris Wallach, O’Brien’s former student, is a Autumn 2007.
tion to their th