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Minds of our Own

Learn about misconceptions about how children learn and how they affect teaching practices in this video for K-12 educators and parents.

A video documentary on education and learning for K-12 educators and parents; 3 one-hour video programs and guide.

Why don’t even the brightest students truly grasp simple science concepts? These video programs pick up on the questions asked in the Private Universe documentary and further explore how children learn. Based on recent research, as well as the pioneering work of Piaget and others, Minds of Our Own shows that many of the things we assume about how children learn are simply not true. For educators and parents, these programs bring new insight to debates about education reform.

Minds of Our Own Teachers Guide

About the Producers and Advisors

Producing Organization:
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Science Education Department, Science Media Group

Project Key Personnel:


Irwin Shapiro, Principal Investigator
Charles Whitney, Co-Principal Investigator
Philip Sadler, Co-Investigator
Matthew Schneps, Project Director


Ara Sahiner, Senior Producer
Wendy Jones, Associate Producer
Tricia Osborne, Editor
Steve Allardi, Assistant Editor

Educational Affairs:

Nancy Finkelstein, Director of Educational Affairs
Melodie Hicks-Arterberry, Education Coordinator


Michael Filisky, Researcher/Writer

Project Advisors:

Linda Alford, Michigan State University
Helen Ansell, Bok Center
Melanie Barron, Cambridge Public Schools, MA
Peggy Charron, Founder, Action for Children’s Television
Helen Corbett, Corbett & Lalli Public Relations
Barbara Costa, WGBH, Boston
Sally Crissman, Shady Hill School
Mary Futrell, George Washington University
Daniel Goroff, Bok Center
Paul Hickman, Belmont High School
Jennifer Hickman, Boston University Academy
Richad Konicek, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Melanie Magisos, University of Arizona, Center for Image Processing
Jose Rivera, Umana/Barnes Middle School
Joel Schneider, Children’s Television Workshop
Eric Stange, Independent Documentary Filmmaker
Meg Watson, Project PALMS, Boston Public Schools
Marianne Wiser, Clark University


Produced by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 1997.
  • Closed Captioning
  • ISBN: 1-57680-064-4