This is my string theory:
No matter what language, culture, or age, I believe all people can learn.
Phenomenon: Long before the new Next Generation Science Standards proposed that good teaching begins with good phenomenon, experiential educators have been using a hook, and science teachers used discrepant events to foster inquiry. No matter what new fancy educationaleese you call it, it's the things that make you go hmmm.
All smiles at a Maasai Boma Kindergarten, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Curiosity: Curiosity is what it means to be human. “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”--Rachel Carson, ecologist, writer, and one of my heroes. And not just children; we all love the sense of awe. I love to help people find that.
Engagement: "If you want them to ENTER the world of Science, you need to be a least a bit ENTERtaining."--Matteus Hager, Norwegian math and physics educator. The thing with this string trick, this phenomenon, is that it is so unexpected everyone begs to "do it again." Just to see if they "heard you right" and "try to figure it out." Even though I've done it hundreds of times, I'm still excited about it. I've heard my own enthusiasm is contagious. Thumbs up from everyone.