“Judge a man by his
questions rather than his
answers.” ~ Voltaire
What part does CURIOSITY play in your
• What are you most curious about?
• What subjects in school are you most
• What about those subjects interest you the
• If you could study or investigate any topic,
what would it be?
• How does your curiosity affect how you
approach a topic? A text? How hard you
CURIOSITY can’t be “mastered.” It develops
over time and with practice…
much like your IMAGINATION.
• It has been said that there is a direct
relationship between attention and our
interest in the world.
In other words…
• Until you’re interested…not much will
become interesting to you.
• Rocks are not interesting…until we begin
• Faraway places may not be all that
interesting…until we begin planning a trip
• Strangers we see on the street may not
be very interesting…until we ask
questions and get to know “their story.”
“Let’s put it to the test…”
• Think of a topic in any subject that you think is just
not very interesting.
• Turn your attention to that topic, and begin asking
• See how many questions, you can come up with
about that topic.
• HINT: the more thoughtful the question– the more
fun the experience!
Create a concept map for an uninteresting
topic and see how many questions about
that topic you can come up with.
• What’s your most thoughtful question
about your topic?
• As you did this activity, did you notice any
change in your attitude about the topic?
• What challenges still remain?
• As young children, we are wonderfully
curious about many, many things.
• As we grow up, we start believing the
answers are more important than the
• If we want to improve the quality of our
thinking…we must learn to improve the
quality of our questions.
“One of the most powerful thinkers in history
was Albert Einstein. He was not only
passionately curious, but he knew the
importance of asking powerful questions.
What made Einstein stand out were the
kinds of questions he asked.”
“He did not just look at a
problem or a text and
ask who, what, where,
when and how. Albert’s
I wonder why…?
What is it that…”
Is it possible to…”
What could happen if…”
Is ___ the reason for…?
Would you rather…?
How is ___ like ____?
Does it matter if…?
I wonder when…?
What’s the difference between the two
sets of questions?
Discuss this with another student nearby,
and see what you can come
We been talking a lot about the importance
of CURIOSITY and asking powerful
But this closing quote is an important
one as we think about our own personal
investment we make in our learning:
“Einstein once remarked that if he were
about to be killed and had only one hour to
figure out how to save his life, he would
devote the first 55 minutes of that hour to
searching for the right question. Once he
had that question, Einstein said, finding
the answer would take only about 5
When we, as learners,
know what kinds of
questions to start asking,
we’re in a much better
position to understand
what we are reading and
“Whew! This is some
Let’s take a time-out and do some
• What are the three most important things
you’ve learning about IMAGINATION?
• What are the three most important things
you’ve learned about CURIOSITY?
Presentation based on:
Classroom Habitudes. Angela Maiers
Educational Services, Inc, 2008.
Other Works Cited
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