Curiosity Journals in Practice

Expanding on how you could take a curiosity  journal entry and incorporate it into the curriculum. This follow-up to Bo’s original post on Teacher Guild is meant to follow in real-time how we are doing just that with a group of 25 students in a program called Innovation Diploma.

How many teachers have ever let students decide the curriculum? I’m not talking about taking a vote on which novel to read next or letting them pick from a pool of possibilities you’ve generated as to how they’ll showcase their learning. I am talking about really letting them get into the driver’s seat. What if we encouraged our students to use curiosity journaling to help us create the next “unit”? For example, last week, one of the Innovation Diploma students posted the curiosity entry you see here.

Screenshot 2015-08-29 15.17.55

Next week, we are about to begin Module 2, “Design Thinking Accelerator: Design for Healthy Living,” our original plan was for the facilitators to generate design briefs that fit into the category of healthy living and ask our students to solve for those. However, the more we dug into the curiosity journals our kids were doing, the clearer it became that many of their posts were not only related to healthy living in some way, but were also real problems that we could tackle while meeting the learning standards for Module 2. In a couple hour session, my team, T.J. Edwards, Trey Boden, and Bo Adams scrapped some of our original planning, and came up with a framework that places four observations from four different Innovation Diploma members front and center in this module. Now these four students, with the help of their peers, will explore a curiosity that is relevant and meaningful in their lives. We’re not just stopping there; these students will create and implement solutions to the problems they uncover through the design thinking process – all stemming from curiosity journaling.

If we want to celebrate inquiry and curiosity in our students, how about we let them follow those inquiries and not let our plans get in the way?  

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