Day 18: Curiosity & Engagement

Last night I participated in an educational twitter chat with #TMchat. It primarily consisted of American teachers with a few of us Canadians jumping in. The topic was about curiosity in the classroom, and a discussion was most interesting around curiosity and engagement.

What comes first, curiosity or engagement? I believe that curiosity is that initial spark or wonder, it is something fuels engagement. Is it a chicken or the egg scenario? I flip back and forth on this. Last night I was decisive and stated that curiosity is primary, and engagement is secondary- you can’t be engaged without being curious.

I think that everyone is curious, and as teachers it is our goal to provoke that curiosity. These provocations can come from questions, images, technology, and environment. Engagement lasts if that curiosity is nurtured and valued. I am finding that genius hour is testing the student’s curiosity by measuring their engagement factor.

Some students are becoming more engaged as we move into the research process while others are starting to find obstacles without motivation to overcome. This is a sign to me that their topics are not coming from true places of curiosity, and could be more of an idea in the moment.

How do you nurture curiosity in the classroom? What comes first, curiosity or engagement? What are you curious about right now? …


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