What do you wonder?

image of young boy looking up at the sky

Wonder by Ben Grey, 2011 via flickr flic.kr/p/9gyKPf

Create wonder. Ponder..

Peter Newbury, who has recently been appointed Director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning at UBC, thinks this process is vitally important. His blog post called “You Don’t Have to Wait for the Clock to Strike to Start Teaching,” he describes a teaching activity that he uses to pique curiosity tied to the day’s lesson content.

“He suggests that instructors show an image on the screen and ask two questions about it: “What do you notice? What do you wonder?” Before class starts, let the image direct the informal conversations, Newbury argues, and then use it to guide a brief discussion during the opening minutes of class.”

Icebreaker? perhaps, but for creative types like me this kind of thinking allows me to open my mind in a way that words do not. As children we typically approach the world with a sense of wonder that is somehow lost along the way as we become “educated”. Wonder is not merely awe, but to ask What do you wonder? is a deceptively simple challenge which allows us to stop, take note and express an interest in some aspect of what we are seeing in front of us. In many elementary classrooms, wonder is the spark which introduces active inquiry-based student-driven learning. The kind of learning that  engages, lasts, is great fun, and teaches children that not all theories pan out. Kind of a precursor to research in a way…

Read the original article here
Read Peter’s blog post here

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