Curiosity is a big part of STEM instruction. How will you encourage curiosity and discovery in your classroom?

Directions: Please answer each question in 150 words and each discussion question in 100 words. Must use in-text citation in APA style. This is a STEM Education Course.

Discussion: Curiosity is a big part of STEM instruction. How will you encourage curiosity and discovery in your classroom?

Response 1: (Instructor asked) how do you learn about each student’s “passion?”  In what ways do you discover their true interests with respect to each topic?

Response 2: (Stefanie said)- Encouraging curiosity within the classroom may lead down rabbit holes, take a well-designed lesson plan in a different direction, and take the class focus off of what needs to be covered based on testing requirements. When we are curious about things, we ask questions. One question can lead to another and another, which may mean veering off topic, but also increases engagement and curiosity. Planning for extra time in each activity or designated time at the end of class where students can ask their questions can help students to affirm their desire to learn but not deter the whole lesson (Runn, 2016).

Encouraging creativity and modeling curiosity help to demonstrate ways to be a lifelong learner and how to remain curious about the world we live in (Runn, 2016). Asking students to find real-life examples for the material being taught requires more work than if the teacher just hands them the information. The way homework is assigned can also be a way to encourage curiosity and discovery, offering students multiple avenues to show what they know and an opportunity to learn in a way that is best for the (Runn, 2016).

Paying attention to what really sets a student’s heart on fire, encouraging them to explore new things and helping them to make connections between the information they are learning in class and how it could help and influence their future is one of the most important pieces of teaching. Some students may be more curious than others, but stay present and fight to create passionate, curious students, one class at a time (Runn, 2016).

Response 3: (Haley said)- There are different types of curiosity that students may develop while they are in school including “joyous exploration, need to know curiosity, social curiosity, accepting anxiety curiosity, and thrill-seeking curiosity,” (Eva, 2018). In order to help students explore their curiosity of a subject it is important that we, as educators, endorse their love of knowledge and encourage their curiosity. Curiosity has been described as having a hungry mind, and the need or want to know more information on a topic, content, or subject matter. Students that are more curious are more likely to excel in the classroom because they are more motivated to learn. When we become curious it causes more retention of knowledge. To encourage this in the classroom, it is important to welcome questions and risk taking. Some students may be shy or uncomfortable with challenging themselves or speaking out loud. We should encourage all types of communication, open dialogue, and lots of discussion in the classroom. Diversity is also extremely important to have in the classroom from educational backgrounds, culture, and subject matter. We live in a world where it is always going to be diverse, and we should be welcoming to all types of diversity. To encourage diversity in the classroom we must first show that we prioritize all backgrounds of knowledge. We can do this by learning about our students prior educational history, their culture, and what they find interesting. While we have a curriculum that we must follow by the end of each year, it is important to incorporate subject matter and people that the students are interested in. The more interest leads to more engagement/motivation, and therefore leads to more success.

Discussion Question 2: Inquiry-based instruction can be challenging for some teachers. Teachers often like to correct students during the learning process. How can this stop the learning process for students? What steps can a teacher take to ensure that he or she is allowing students to discover learning without teacher interference?