I don’t mean Challenge Based Learning/Games Based Learning/Mantle of the Expert and so on. All of these approaches have various benefits and like any system or approach to teaching and learning can work well and help children to succeed academically, socially and personally.
I mean ‘Curious’.
Puzzled, Perplexed, Inquisitive, Intrigued, Eager… [Insert thesaurus link here…]
Getting a genuine WTF?! moment. (Perhaps not literally, but most certainly figuratively!)
Although I am impressed with his noun creation!
When presented with a ‘Curiosity’, children’s discussion can be very powerful indeed.
Towards the end of some work on Teeth, I showed the children (Y2) a Skull (it was a Sheep).
I asked them 1 question and 1 question only, the rest came from them.
My question: “What is it?”
Discussion grew organically and followed a sequence including all these responses, talking to each other, not me …
(On a small aside – The OfSted inspector at the back liked it too!)
I only asked 1 question, 3 words, 8 letters…
The rest came from curiosity.
We had the initial “Ewwwww!”, “Gross!”, and an internal “WTF?!”
They could then draw upon and apply knowledge and understanding and use it to build more.
Getting children to investigate and utilise that inherent curiosity they have in spades is important, the guidance is important too.
Remember the Nature Table?
I do – many fond memories.
I find they aren’t as common as they used to be. What with Health & Safety, cleanliness and other such protocols – all of which have such valuable learning and experience value for young children, have limited its use.
Bring it back I say!
Either that or a ‘Curiosity Table’.
Something that could easily be changed for different themes and topics, gives the children time and opportunity to work out objects origins, uses, materials, ages etc.
They can question, practice and investigate. They can get it wrong and try again.
Second only to “Why?”
Aren’t these the 2 questions that children ask the most?
Let’s ask them instead!