Creating Curiosity

I Wonder?

I conducted an experiment in the classroom. Using a liquid chalk pen, I wrote on one of our classroom windows 'Curious?'. I wanted to test my assumption. Unfortunately, that assumption was proved right. The writing was on the wall and yet, nothing was said. Nothing at all! Not one student wondered why I had written on the window. Not one student seemed curious. That got me thinking - when did their curiosity disappear? My nickname growing up was, and probably still relevant today, 'curious George/Jo'. I was always asking questions, wondering why?, interrogating my parents, friends and teachers alike. I digress, however, this highlighted the need for us to ensure we have opportunities for the 'I wonder?' moments; curiosity and ultimately, creativity must not be killed. Perfect timing, with the launch of student inquiry. Next, I need to ensure that our teachers are on the same page.

As Head of Learning Area, my aim in every meeting we have is to provide practical PLD which teachers are able to apply the very next day in the classrooms. I believe that relevant, practical development, which directly benefits, engages and empowers our students' learning, is a win win. 

Aims: 

  • spark curiosity - using English AGENDA - I wonder? 
  • promote design thinking - various 'materials', learner as maker
  • creativity - 60 second jewellery task
  • growth mindset - modelling the power of fixed versus growth mindset
A special acknowledgement and thank you to Steve Mouldey and Philippa N Antipas for the inspiration and ideas. Here is what we accomplished in the PLD session during our recent English Learning Area meeting. 

Our '60 second' jewellery designs are displayed below. Using 'Kind, Specific and Helpful' feedback, we refined and improved our creations, before sharing back with the group. Every moment is a teachable moment. 

Observations:

At first, some teachers were hesitant, reluctant and determined that they could not complete the task. However, as the timeframe was short, their mindset quickly shifted and we all completed the task. In fact, they did not want to stop. We laughed, critiqued, refined and reshaped our designs. The powerful lesson was in the making, the doing, the reflecting and the evaluating. Likewise, the way in which the teachers embraced the challenge, discovering the fun side of making and creating, and realising that this could also happen in their own learning environment. With minimal 'materials', the options are endless. We will awaken and foster curiosity, creativity and embrace a growth mindset. 

Will you? 

Creating much more than a piece of jewellery 

Designed, Refined and ready to wear
Adding colour to the bling - feedback welcomed
Capturing the story behind the jewellery - growth versus fixed mindset

"If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance, very often. Children are natural learners. It's a real achievement to put that particular ability out, or to stifle it." 

"Curiosity is the engine of achievement."

 (Robinson, 2013)