Inquiry Magazine Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy

Fall 2016

Penelope Peterson


Dear Friends,

Two decades ago, I coedited a book about how and where female educational researchers developed their passions for research. In all cases the women described how “learning from their lives” had motivated their work. In my own autobiographical chapter, I wrote about how “learning about learning” had motivated me—I was always intrigued by how people learn and how to improve that learning, both inside the classroom and out. I discussed how much I had often learned by watching my own children grow up and interrogating them about their learning experiences. My children always pushed me to think about new designs for learning and how schools might incorporate these new designs.

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  • Bold New Learning Designs

    In this issue: Bold New Learning Designs

  • The Fuse Phenomenon
    The Fuse Phenomenon

    Education is “leveling up” in FUSE studios from Chicago to Helsinki, encouraging students to drive their own learning and create their own solutions.

  • Leading Learning: Museums, the Maker Movement and More
    Leading Learning: Museums, the Maker Movement and More

    The kids in the Tinkering Lab at the Chicago Children’s Museum choose from an intriguing array of materials as they make something that rolls. One girl winds wire around two tiny axles, and another races the wooden car she made down a track.

  • Girls with the Power to Code
    Girls with the Power to Code

    “It didn’t occur to me that there would be roadblocks when I first realized I was interested in computing and science,” says research assistant professor Kai Orton, who pursued a career in computational molecular biology.

  • Digital Studios for Social Innovation
    Digital Studios for Social Innovation

    As a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia 15 years ago, Matt Easterday worked on an array of public health issues, among them nutrition. The population at the time was shifting from rural to city centers, and a lack of refrigeration made dairy, a staple of the Mongolian diet, difficult to transport.