Date of Completion

2015

Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Peter J. Taylor

Second Advisor

Arthur Millman

Abstract

Through research on critical thinking, instructional practice, and curiosity I have developed the Pedagogy of Curiosity. This approach is implemented in the Curious classroom and a workshop for secondary teachers. The Curious classroom creates a structure and focus to encourage and develop curiosity and critical thinking of students. A questioning and research design redefines the learning expectations and the corresponding teacher and student roles in the classroom. An environment is constructed for students to take steps to become autonomous reflective learners.

This synthesis identifies two sources that inform my endeavor: 1) The accountability and results driven focus of No Child Left Behind has led to a narrowing of instructional practice and curriculum. Public secondary education classes have struggled to provide curriculum that addresses student thinking and curiosity; 2) I was once an average uninspired student who struggled to find motivation to study or even care about learning. Luckily, starting in college, certain

significant influences fundamentally changed how I now perceive learning, education, and thinking. The most recent influence has been the Critical and Creative Thinking graduate program, a place where being unsure and uncertain is accepted and even encouraged because that is where meaningful change and growth begin.