Solving Students' Problems/Satisfying Students' Curiosities

Students bring their problems that need solving & curiosities that keep their minds busy to the teachers to become a potential unit problem.

Photo of Bryony Kinnear
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A student might have tried a recipe that is not quite right, but does not know how to fix it to become the desired taste or texture. A student might be curious about injustices in politics that are frequenting the news and why there is debate when the solution seems obvious. A student's family might have collected materials for a backyard hideout, but it is up to the student to figure out how to build it. A student might wonder why they feel a certain way when they hear a particular song and how that emotion can be triggered in many different people from the same song. A student might wish to write a letter to uplift the spirits of a soldier over the winter holidays when they cannot be with their own family. A student who walks to and from school everyday might wonder why there are not any continuous sidewalks around our campus to keep students safe and want to find a way for sidewalks to be constructed. Students have so many problems already racing through their minds, instead of giving them more that they do not care about, let us address those questions they have. Let students really be heard. We can teach them to follow their curiosities until they find a conclusion or are satisfied by not being able to find a resolution and doing their best to make sense of what they do know. Many students' problems lend themselves to interdisciplinary projects/discussions and can be addressed from different perspectives in multiple classes providing relevancy throughout their academic day.

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Photo of Emma Scripps
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Bryony! This is is such an interesting idea. It helps students be problem finders as well as solvers! You could even have students write in notebooks and then use those curiosity books to jumpstart their inquiry process.