Eleanor Duckworth stresses the importance of allowing and encouraging students to become curious and ask questions about different topics and subjects. This can be difficult for many different reasons.
- Some students can be introverted and may not feel comfortable asking questions.
- Teachers may be limiting the amount of wonder that is created in a student.
- Students may not be interested at all in the topic or subject being taught.
Strategies to inspire curiosity!!
- Be curious yourself! Model an open attitude to new and unfamiliar ideas
- Ask questions and question answers
- Practice and encourage active listening
- Relate “uninteresting” or difficult subjects directly to your students’ interests or daily lives
So, what are some specific ways teachers can spark WONDER and CURIOSITY in their students?
Create a WONDER WALL
- At the beginning of the year brain storm with students topics that they are curious about
- When students are finished early with an activity, have them go to the wonder wall and select a question the class is curious about
- Have the student use a computer or electronic devise to explore the topic
- They can post their findings on the WONDER WALL
- If time permits, allow the student to share their findings and hold a class discussion
Have a WONDER DAY or WONDER WEEK project
- This project begins with an open-ended inquiry based question, that students get to chose
- You can have the question tie into a standard if you wish
- For example… “What is the affect of cigarette smoke on lung cancer?” “How realistic is living on another planet?”
- Have the student do research and share their findings with the class either through a paper, a presentation, a poster, a demo, etc.
- The video below further explains the project