Kerry Ruef

Kerry Ruef - Creator and Director

Kerry Ruef is an innovator and educator whose mission is to give kids and adults the most efficient (and delightful) intellectual tools for success.

The recipient of numerous grants and awards, an amateur naturalist, and former classroom teacher, Ruef conceived of and founded The Private Eye Project to accelerate creative and critical thinking.

The seeds of The Private Eye Project sprouted when she began seeking the habits of mind that are common denominators to writers, scientists, artists, mathematicians and social scientists. By 1988 she’d arrived at a theory, encapsulated in The Private Eye process: an original, hands-on strategy for thinking by analogy to magnify minds. As part of the joy and wonder of this process, she introduced to the world of education the jeweler’s loupe (as a seeing and thinking tool). Originally piloted in the Seattle Public Schools and grant-funded by the Discuren Foundation of Washington State, The Private Eye has spread to tens of thousands of teachers, parents and professionals, and over three million students. Ruef has taught hundreds of teacher training workshops and courses all over the country, and keynoted conferences ranging from The American Montessori Society to the Center for Creative Problem Solving.

Kerry Ruef is the author of The Private Eye - (5X) Looking / Thinking By Analogy: A Guide to Developing the Interdisciplinary Mind; The Private Eye - Simple Steps to a Magnified Mind; and The Private Eye - Five Funtastic Steps.  Kerry is also a poet and essayist whose writing appears in literary journals; she is the winner of the Prism Review Poetry Prize, and was a finalist for the Third Coast Poetry Award; the New Letters Poetry Award, and the Harpur Palate Poetry Award

Listen as she tells how The Private Eye began:

"On a hot summer day, in 1988, I'd been thinking about the enormous power of the metaphor mind, the mind that sees the world through the lens and network of analogy.   The doors of my studio were open and bees sometimes swept in and began banging their heads against the skylight.   The bamboo outside was rustling like taffeta skirts and it was an altogether lovely day to be thinking."
— from Chapter 1, The Private Eye - (5X) Looking / Thinking by Analogy
(Ruef, 2003, 1998, 1992, The Private Eye Project.)