If this were a different blog, I'd encourage you to read the book, but this is a blog related to NGSS and classroom instruction, so I'm going to use his ideas to think about classroom instruction.
In one chapter, Wilson identifies three archetypes from science and literature that can inspire further study and deeper love of science. The three archetypes are journeys to unexplored lands, search for a holy grail, and good vs. evil. These archetypes can provide motivation to scientists who are frustrated or befuddled. They can encourage scientists to continue their work in light of failed experiments. Could they also be used to inspire our students to careers in science? Could we, as teachers, frame parts of our curriculum around these three archetypes?
In thinking about my 7th grade curriculum, I have a few ideas. Journeys to uncharted lands could encompass cells, organelles, body systems, molecular and atomic structure, etc. Searching for the holy grail could be used in the similar units if we talk about current challenges in human health (cancer, chronic illnesses, etc.) This could also be used in a unit on energy since a perpetual motion machine is something of an unreachable holy grail, but we can attempt to get as close as possible to one.
Good vs. evil could be used when dealing with digital vs analog signals. Data transfer using digital signals can be encrypted in an effort to keep unwanted eyes from seeing the message.
Could these archetypes also be used to point students towards content that is only tangentially related to our curriculum but could inspire future scientists? At the very least, these archetypes help us, as teachers, remember that we do want to do more than inspire students to pass a test; we want to inspire future scientists and citizens who love science.
What do you think? Are these archetypes helpful? Could/would you use them in your classroom?