Curiosity is the foundation of deep and meaningful learning. But studies of the average high school classroom show that students ask very few questions, if any. What can educators do to turn the tide and reignite curiosity in the classroom? Learn more below about the four factors underlying student curiosity—and how ABC-CLIO can help.

Voice & Choice
Student agency has a direct correlation to student engagement. Whether it’s by self-selecting a research topic or choosing how they will demonstrate their learning, when students are given choice in the content and structure of their academic work, their curiosity grows. ABC-CLIO allows students to explore a wide range of perspectives and ideas within defined themes and time periods.

Educational research has shown that student curiosity is nurtured when academic tasks are ‘optimally challenging’—not too easy, and not too hard. To have the confidence needed to explore challenging concepts and master new skills, students need the right supports. With ABC-CLIO, all lessons and activities include built-in scaffolding tools to guide students through the inquiry process.

Personal Relevance
All too often, learning experiences are abstracted and removed from students’ daily lives. For educators seeking to inspire engaged learners, research points firmly in the opposite direction: Engagement flourishes when students see their own lived experiences reflected in instructional materials.

We encourage our teachers to bring the ABC-CLIO databases into the classroom because it provides them with curated primary sources. Those sources help tell a more holistic story of U.S. history that includes voices which may not have been heard before.

Culture of Inquiry
Authentic learning happens when students are allowed to explore their interests in connection to our curriculum. But in order to discover what interests them, students first need to feel empowered to ask questions—especially ones without easy answers. To achieve this, educators must promote a culture of inquiry in their schools.

When it comes to guided inquiry, ABC-CLIO has the right tools for teachers to help students engage with their subject on a deep level that provokes curiosity and enables self-directed learning.

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Ideas and Activities from ABC-CLIO’s Inquiry Experts.

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