Thanks to the beautiful minds in my Professional Learning Network, I recently discovered Jon Gordon’s appropriately short book One Word. The book explores the idea that focusing on a single word is a very powerful way to make change in one’s life. As someone who constantly looks for ways to improve and seeks out feedback from the other people in my life, I try to find a theme for each year. In the past, I have made attempts to focus on specific changes like writing more or student-centered learning.
This year, through all of my various forms of personal development, I will be focusing on the idea of curiosity. I want to spend more time thinking about my own curiosity as well as the curiosity of my students. I want to find opportunities to encourage my own questioning, modeling for my students how to be a scientist in life. But, I also want to make time in my lessons to recognize, reward, and reinforce a sense of wonder among my students. As Sir Ken Robinson has often remarked, the public school system has a knack for squeezing the divergent thinking right out of students (and teachers alike).
I like this goal because it’s more holistic than focusing on specific classroom techniques, but it’s also more sustainable. For my students and myself, curiosity is a behavior that has long-lasting implications for all aspects of our lives. Curiosity is the trait that makes people want to learn more about science and the world around them. A world with more curiosity and wonder is a world ripe for science education to help students find answers to those questions in their imagination.
To follow my year-long journey of curiosity, check back here at the blog and follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@mrscienceteach on both) where I will be posting the questions that occur to my throughout my day. And keep the curiosity flowing by commenting here and everywhere online that you find ideas that make you think.