“Research shows unequivocally that when people are curious about something, they learn more, and better”
Susan Engel (2013), The Case for Curiosity.
We kicked off our staff exploration into Curiosity this week, with 34 teams of staff across the College meeting to discuss how they can incorporate Curiosity into their teaching! There was a burgeoning of energy and creativity by facilitators and team members (see photos below), with a wide variety of Curiosity project topics for the year.
Some TFC groups are still refining their Curiosity project. There are lots of Curiosity resources to inspire you and provoke your thinking at https://tinyurl.com/PD2019, including a list of 33 practical ideas from Wendy Ostroff’s book - “Cultivating Curiosity in K-12 Classrooms” (book available in the Stevenson Library).
Thought Piece: Can we make students more curious?
Are some people just born curious and others are not, or can teachers help every student to be curious?
Psychologists love to ask if a personal quality is inherent to some people, or a situational experience possible for anyone. We can all think of someone who is incessantly curious (sometimes to the annoyance of those around them!), and there is research support for this notion of curiosity as a personal ‘trait’ (eg. Kashdan, Rose & Fincham, 2004). On the other hand, we can also recall times when we have been more curious than usual, which fits with definitions of curiosity as a motivational ‘state’ (eg Kashdan & Silvia, 2009).
These two concepts of state and trait curiosity can be brought together if we acknowledge that some of our students are naturally more curious than others, but we can create a classroom climate which provokes every student to be a bit more curious than they would otherwise have been.
Dr Caitlin Munday talks about: why TFC teams, why curiosity, and what excites her about this year’s professional learning.