15 Dec Slice of Life: The Power of Wonder
We left #NCTE15 thinking about wonder. Two “slices” of the conference pushed us to think more about how often we wonder, ask students to wonder and ask teachers to wonder. We wonder about data, about texts, about teacher’s passions, about pedagogy, about next steps and about the process of change. We realize we ask people to wonder all the time, but since #NCTE15 we are more aware of it.
We were not familiar with this book. We loved how Matt has used this book to inspire his faculty to question. He started by asking us:
Why questioning? He then shared this quote from the book:
“Questions challenge authority and disrupt established structures, processes, and systems, forcing people to have to at least think about doing something differently.”(p 6)
He showed us how his faculty is using questioning in collecting data and planning instructional goals. He also shared how he is using questioning in evaluation. We were inspired to read this book. Berger shows how children begin school asking hundreds of questions and then slowly learn that questions are not valued in our school culture. They turn to trying to quickly supply answers to rote questions and comply with the thinking shared by the teacher. “In an education and business culture devised to reward rote answers over challenging inquiry, questioning isn’t encouraged—and, in fact, is sometimes barely tolerated.” The books pushes us to think about how each of us can re-ignite that questioning spark—and use inquiry as a powerful means to rethink and reinvent our lives.
If you want more information about this book check out this interview:
Our heads were already filled with ideas about questioning and then we were invited to a breakfast hosted by Wonderopolis®. We were familiar with the resources Wonderopolis® offers, but had never heard about the philosophy and inception. They shared:
Wonderopolis®, a place where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages. Brought to life by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL), our Wonders of the Day® will help you find learning moments in everyday life—ones that fit in with dinner preparations, carpool responsibilities, a stolen moment between breakfast and the bus, or within school curriculum and education programs.
Wonder is for everyone. It can happen anywhere and at anytime. Connecting the learning we do in our schools, our homes, and our communities, Wonderopolis walks the line between formal and informal education. Each day, we pose an intriguing question and explore it in a variety of ways. Our approach both informs and encourages new questions, sparking new paths of wonder and discovery in family and classroom settings.
A panel of presenters shared how they use this resource to spark the power of questioning in classrooms and schools.
It left us thinking about planning curriculum. We spend a great deal of time planning how we will question and assess students. Do we also spend time thinking about how we will provide opportunities for our students to question and wonder? Do we use the questions our students have to authentically research topics or interests? Do we value questioning or are our students learning it is not part of our school culture?
These two presentations really came together for us. If you aren’t using Wonderopolis® check it out – you won’t believe the resources they provide! We know we plan on being more purposeful in how we question and how we include our student’s questions in our lesson design. We want take the time to listen to their questions and use them as windows into understanding what they need instructionally and what they are interesting in learning.