University of Waterloo Teaching and Learning Conference: 2017

question markCultivating Curiosity in Teaching and Learning

April 27, 2017

For the 2017 Conference, we invited participants to share their curiosity about teaching and learning, as well as how they foster curiosity in students.

Curiosity is at the heart of inquiry and exploration and is a powerful motivator for learning. It lights up our brains, motivates us to seek new information and experiences, and leads to new frontiers in understanding.

Through dialogue, discussion, and debate with colleagues, we grapple collectively with the big questions in our fields. But how do we pique students’ curiosity about our fields and invite them into this lively conversation? And how do we integrate this spirit of scholarly inquiry into teaching and learning? What good questions are we asking about teaching, learners, and learning?

Keynote: Can We Teach Curiosity?

Scholars often describe curiosity as an internally motivated trait, but in this session Peter Felten explores what happens when we consider curiosity to be a set of practices that can be cultivated. How can our teaching help our students to become increasingly curious about our disciplines - and about their world? Dr. Felten shares concrete strategies for cultivating student curiosity, and asks how we can know whether we are actually helping students to cultivate their curiosity in ways that will enhance their learning and enrich their lives.

Peter Felten is Assistant Provost for Teaching and Learning, Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and Professor of history at Elon University. Professionally, he is curious about how people learn and how to cultivate change in individuals, institutions, and cultures. His publications include the co-authored books The Undergraduate Experience (2016) and Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching (2014), and the co-edited Intersectionality in Action (2016). He is president (2016-17) of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development. Personally, he is curious about why he so consistently loses at board games and how it can be that chocolate always tastes good.



Visit our official conference website to learn about current and future conferences.

For questions about the conference, please contact Crystal Tse at the Centre for Teaching Excellence.

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