Noticing and Wondering: Kicking off and supporting enquiry

I have written previous posts about the importance of nurturing the ability to wonder in young children and in ourselves, for example here, here and here. It is always a delight, then, to come across a post that expresses ideas similar to, but extending, my own.
This post by Aaron Eden on Edunautics, Exploring a World of Learning questions whether there could be any skills more important than noticing and wondering. He says that in school students are generally told to think and wonder about what someone else (the teacher, the curriculum writer, the policy maker) thinks is important.
Eden argues for the importance of learning to learn; of learning to identify what is important and of understanding how to learn it. He promotes developing an environment of questioning and suggests ways of extending students’ learning through participation in genuine inquiry based upon their own wondering and questioning. His suggestions help make the process more explicit, and therefore possible, for teachers to implement.

Thank you
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Edunautics

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpovey/ Wonderment

Noticing and Wondering

(Special thanks to colleague Sara Soulier who helped me workshop this at a recent conference)

Could there be any more important skills than the skills to notice and to wonder?

The normal paradigm in school is to train students that what other people notice and wonder about is more important than their own observation and enquiry. Example: “Students, today we are studying American history from the industrial revolution to the present. Here is the syllabus of important topics, and when and how we will engage with them.”

The assumption is that what’s important here is the information and lessons we can learn from this period in history. Those are important things to know. But what about the ability to determine what is important and how to learn it? I would argue that is the more important “lesson” to be learned.

It’s possible to learn information without gaining the…

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9 thoughts on “Noticing and Wondering: Kicking off and supporting enquiry

  1. Annecdotist

    Actually, this is a bit what therapy is like. People often assume it’s about fixing yourself but it works best in my opinion if it starts with just noticing and reflecting on how we tend to be. That simple (actually not so simple because we do it so rarely as adults) attending to ourselves can then open up a range of choices about how we might want to deal with these issues.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for making that connection, Anne. I agree that noticing and reflecting is important. Sometimes we don’t like to do too close an inspection inwards for fear of what we might see! Now that indicates a need of therapy, doesn’t it?!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Autism Mom

    Thank you for sharing this! I have been trying to direct my son’s wondering a bit – he has taken to comparing his work unfavorably to others’ and I have been suggesting he ask himself what he liked and didn’t like about to others’ work, and what he might have done differently. It is that kind of wondering that can save him angst, I think.

    This post is helpful for that! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Those are great ways of getting him to appreciate his own work, and identify what he sees in others’ work that he would like to emulate. Definitely saving him angst and moving him forward in his thinking are worthwhile outcomes of the strategy.
      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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