One of the fundamental philosophies behind whyzz is the importance of asking questions, which is why we’re so excited to partner with The Noguchi Museum on their Cultivating Curiosity Workshop, a program to help educators explore how questions and the process of inquiring are used in art and science.
The first session of the workshop took place on October 17th. Throughout the day, the program’s facilitators, panel members, and attending educators took part in hands on activities, discussions and art explorations to investigate the role of questions in their fields and, most importantly, how they can bring this knowledge into the classroom. Topics included the relationship between curiosity, education, and questions and how the process of questioning can lead to motivation and creativity, as well as examining how a simple question can help develop something much larger, such as a piece of art or a course of study.
Many teachers commented that they were eager to encourage their students to ask more questions and wanted to be able to answer them with attention, accuracy and encouragement. However, their biggest roadblock is time; with such busy class periods and test requirements, it’s difficult for them to add anything extra to their day.
While brainstorming about how to solve this problem, a great suggestion that came about was to have a “Wonder Wall” in each classroom. When a student has a question or curiosity that can’t be immediately addressed, s/he can write the question on the “Wonder Wall” for the teacher to discuss at another time. Not only does this process allow the subject to be remembered and returned to at a later time, but it also validates the student’s question and honors their curiosity.
Before the next workshop session, teachers will journal on the questions their students raise in the classroom, their responses, and the teachers’ perceived success rate of addressing questions. In our desire to be a resource for parents in the subjects of questions and curiosity, we at whyzz strive to be as well educated as we can be. It is our hope to bring the knowledge and expert advice from this workshop into the great content we provide at whyzz. We will keep you posted as we learn more!
The October 17th workshop was attended by 10 teachers from New York City public schools, with panel discussions by Michael Hanchett Hanson of the Columbia University Teachers College, visual artist Beth Krebs, and biologist Antonia Florio.