No teacher wants to say their students are unmotivated or unengaged but I will. Sometimes my students are unengaged and unmotivated. I teach in a small program that includes a higher ratio of these students so maybe I encounter it more but based on discussion with my colleagues I think it can be true in any class.
I have been wondering lately what the role of curiosity is in engagement and motivation. What are the roots of curiosity? Can we foster it and how? Can we use it to help students persevere when they want to stop? Will it help with work production, performance and achievement? If so, and I think it will, what role does curiosity play in our planning? What role does it play in our decisions? Where does it fit on the totem pole of priorities? Too often I have sacrificed engagement for covering material or have I? Maybe there does not need to be a sacrifice; maybe I just need to do a better job of weaving it into my teaching. I designed a web explore that played out more like an outline that I had hoped. Should I have kept it as an outline to guide students who often struggle with organization or left it more open ended? Am I confusing curiosity with interest and enjoyment? If everything is engaging is that good preparation for life? How we as teachers keep curiosity in our vision is a challenge but a good challenge and one I want to work on more. How can we scaffold curiosity? How can we get students in the proximal zone of curiosity development?