Developing More Curious Minds

"The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the curiosity of young minds to satisfy it afterwards."
- Anatole France

Inquiry is the beginning of meaningful learning and too many students sit passively in schools without being challenged to generate good questions about the content they are studying. But students are curious and can take more control of their own learning.

This volume presents approaches to eliciting students' natural curiosities through journals, questioning frames, critical thinking challenges, visits to museums and long term curricular projects with authentic assessments. It challenges existing school cultures and presents models of leadership and professional development. Includes self and organizational assessment protocols and extensive website references.

Reviews | Table of Contents
Sample Chapters | Links for Purchase

Reviews from

Developing More Curious Minds By John Barell (Professor Emeritus, Montclair State University) is an impressive and "reader friendly" compendium of ideas for enriching young people's learning experiences and contributing to more open and inquisitive ways of thought. From making wise use of the World Wide Web, to looking critically at texts, to encouraging young folks to express themselves articulately in oral and written communication, Developing More Curious Minds is an excellent and highly recommended supplemental addition to any grade school, high school, or home schooling curriculum development resource and reference list.

  • Midwest Book Review

"Inquisitive minds are the safeguards of our democracy, now and forever."

John Barell states in his insightful book Developing More Curious Minds, that student questions are the attainment of the highest thinking skills. Some will be tempted to take this thesis for granted. But think of actual classroom practice. Too often, in most of our classrooms, student questions are a distraction from our plan and our pacing. Listening to questions, thoughtfully responding to questions, guiding students to discover their own answers to questions rather than supply the answers for them takes time and skill. Time is the one thing most of have in very, very short supply.

But Barell gently reminds us that questions signal thought processing which is the goal of effective classroom interaction. This book is unique in that Barell offers actual teaching practices and ideas to facilitate higher order thinking in our classrooms. Developing More Curious Minds details how to teach for student inquiry.

It's About Time that a book came along that speaks to "how" to reach and develop curious minds. I was glad to finally read a book that quotes and highlights the practices of other learning specialists and educators in the field. I especially liked the student responses and the modeling of effective inquiry teaching practices.

Only communication through thoughtful response in an environment that encourages a free exchange of ideas will meet the inquisitive, curious minds of our students. Developing More Curious Minds does just that.

  • Customer

This book was recommended to me, and I feel compelled to do likewise! Part teacher reference, part anecdotal, this book teaches metacognitive strategies and relates all concepts provocatively and seemlessly to society. It presents the BIG picture-you will never be at a loss for words when students ask you WHY they are studying a concept!

I found this book to be an excellent resource for the classroom and recommend it to all college students I teach. If you buy only one book on inquiry, this is it... With many practical ideas and pedagogical philosophy, this book will inspire you! A must have!

  • Customer

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. A Culture of Inquisitiveness
Chapter 2. Models of Inquiry
Chapter 3. Creating Schools of Inquiry
Chapter 4. The Nature of Good Questions
Chapter 5. Writing Our Curiosities
Chapter 6. Questioning Texts
Chapter 7. An Intelligent Revolution
Chapter 8. Inquiry- and Problem-Based Learning
Chapter 9. Wisely Using the World Wide Web
Chapter 10. Of Museums and Field Notes
Chapter 11. How We Assess Our Inquisitiveness
Chapter 12. The Power of Leadership
Epilogue: “Citizens of the Cosmos”

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D

Sample Chapters

Click for Chapter One
Click for Chapter Six

Links for Purchase

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