We know that agency is at the core of the concept of learner-centered, and to release agency we must create the conditions for that to happen. A disposition such as curiosity – the desire to know – cannot be forced or commanded. As leaders, how do we create the desire to know? How do we release curiosity? This is a particularly important question as we work to transform education – creating something new that previously hasn’t existed. The thinking goes – if we can pique the curiosity of learners and leaders, they will make personal connections to the work, thereby accelerating change on the path to transformation through the desire to know.
Recently, Adam Grant shared some thoughts about cultivating curiosity on Wondering, an online place where he answers questions from readers. Change leaders can consider these suggestions as they work to clear a path for more curious leaders and learners:
- Mystery – How can we pose a puzzle without an easy solution? For example, what will learning look like in 2030?
- Surprise – Share information that challenges conventional thinking? For example, can a teenager be a multimillion dollar entrepreneur?
- Counterfactual Thinking – What would the present be like if the past had played out differently? What if standardized testing was never accepted as a means of measuring learning?
- Perspective Taking – Spend some time in someone else’s shoes to learn their beliefs and values. What if school leaders spent a day with learners?
Curious about creating the conditions for curiosity? Grant provides us with four entry points to consider.
How can you create the conditions for curiosity? What would you add to the list?
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