Over the years I have come to relish and appreciate both fine sensual and and intellectual experiences, most real but also a growing number of virtual ones. Recently I was invited to contribute to the COMPADRE efforts to develop physics instructional materials and to critique several of my colleague's submissions. That brought me to ponder just what I consider most valuable. I reflected back on my library of resources I have found most useful over my career, and to seek what characteristics made them have value. Reflecting on many, I mention three that seem to epitomize an ideal: George Sartons volumes of the History of Greek Science, Eric Rogers Physics for the Inquiring Mind, and Richard Feynman's Lectures on Physics presenting his Introductory Physics course at Caltech. They remind me of full, multi-course meals, providing a complete evening of sensual experiences. While that is their format, I often have used them as references to particular topics.
I have been extremely lucky in my life to have met many of the country's top science educators who have devoted much of their lives to develop pieces needed for effective science instruction. At risk of slighting some, I list a few who have had strong influence on me: Gerald Holton, James Rutherford and Fletcher Watson of Project Physics, Art Campbell and George Pimentel of CHEM Study, Uri Haber-Schaim from PSSC and IPS, Marjorie Gardner, Truman Schwartz, Jerry Bell and Glenn Crosby with the DivChemEd, Patricia Laws, Lillian McDermott and a number of more recent friends. But in contrast to those in the first paragraph, these people have largely worked on smaller pieces rather than the broad picture. They remind me of my wife, who is a superb cook, when she brings be a spoon full of her latest creation to taste. Those tastes are small but crucial parts of a complete dining experience.Based on the ideas and work of the great educators listed above, I've just formulated a list of components which I currently view as key for any complete science instructional package. I should note that very few of my existing efforts include all of these. So it also provides for me goals towards which to work: