For years, education has responded by admonishing teachers to “enagage” students with “engaging content,” but engagement and curiosity are decidedly different. An engaged student may very well be curious, but such curiosity isn’t necessary for engagement.
Engagement is more than paying attention, but doesn’t demand an empowered thinker forging into new ideas with an open-mind and relevant questions.
More importantly, authentic curiosity comes from the learner outward, not by dangling flashing, singing and dancing carrots in front of students. It stems from past experience and current knowledge, then branches out to new domains, applications, and opportunities for transfer.
Sounds fancy, but how does one “cause” curiosity? Herein lies the heart of so many modern movements in progressive learning systems–the learner, their unique curiosities, and their patterns of self-direction.
10 Strategies to Promote Curiosity in Learning
From Marilyn Arnone via ericsdigest.org*, below are 10 strategies–or strategy topics–to promote curiosity in learners.
And engagement, learning, retention, and all that comes with it.
Strategy 1: Curiosity as a Hook
Strategy 2: Conceptual Conflict
Strategy 3: An Atmosphere for Questions
Strategy 4: Time
Strategy 5: Choices
Strategy 6: Curiosity-Arousing Elements
Strategy 7: The Right Amount of Stimulation
Strategy 8: Exploration
Strategy 9: Rewards
Strategy 10: Modeling
*Note: ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) is a tremendous online database of education-centered content. Ericsdigest.org is an apparently related-but-unaffiliated clearinghouse for existing ERIC content. Let us know if you can clarify the difference between the two sites in the comments section or via email; Image attribution flickr user kendracaptures