Curiosity- The Often Overlooked Piece to Engagement

Posted in 21st Century Classroom, Quality Instruction, Uncategorized | No Comments »

As a faculty we are always discussing, searching, and collaborating on ways to increase the engagement for our students.  One aspect that is sometimes overlooked is that of curiosity.  How can we harness that power of curiosity to help transform everyday tasks, or lessons into interesting and engaging experiences?  When you think of curiosity as a sense of active interest in and about something,  it helps to begin to build a framework for greater engagement in our lessons and daily interactions with our students.

I am currently reading the book  Curious  written by Ian Leslie.  In his book he separates curiosity into three categories.

  • Diversive curiosity is attraction to novelty. It’s what encourages us to explore new places, people and things. There is no method or process. This curiosity is just the beginning. (It’s also not always benign curiosity: High diversive curiosity is a risk factor for drug addiction and arson.)
  • Epistemic curiosity is a deeper quest for knowledge. It “represents the deepening of a simple seeking of newness into a directed attempt to build understanding. It’s what happens when diversive curiosity grows up.” This kind of curiosity requires effort. It’s hard work, but also more rewarding.
  • Empathic curiosity is putting yourself in another person’s shoes, curious about their thoughts and feelings. “Diversive curiosity might make you wonder what a person does for a living; empathic curiosity makes you wonder why they do it.”

It started me thinking, perhaps when we are planning our lessons we can take a look at these three categories and keep in mind the definition of curiosity.  What are we doing to support this in our classrooms, whether it is during the anticipatory set, the materials we use, the questions we ask, or the evidence of learning we gather from our students.

Let’s remember, curiosity is a gift given exclusively to humans. As British TV producer and writer John Lloyd said, “It’s only people, as far as we know, who look up at the stars and wonder what they are.”

I believe it is worth taking time to reflect upon.

As always, be joyful in your thoughts!






Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar