Wondering about Wonder

Each year at Grace, we choose a topic to explore in-depth and across the curriculum. This “intention” helps us deepen our practice and strengthen bonds within the Grace community. This year, we have chosen to dive deep into “wonder.” Wonder is part of our mission at Grace, and we want to better understand how it relates to teaching, learning, and being human!  Over the summer, Grace faculty and staff read about wonder and explored personal experiences of wonder through wonder journals. Throughout the school year, we will continue to research wonder with students and families. We wonder: What will we learn?  What will surprise us?  How does wonder help us learn and connect with one another? We invite you to wonder with us!

Over the summer, faculty and staff chose articles to read in order to learn more about wonder and how it relates to teaching, learning, and being human!  Small groups prepared presentations to teach the rest of us what they learned.  Groups shared various definitions of wonder and how we might cultivate wonder in our community.

abstract image
What do you wonder about this image?

Ms. Martucci, Ms. Hamilton, Ms. Ascoli, and Ms. Ray dug into a dense, philosophical article about the role of wonder in education.  To help us experience some of the article’s main ideas, they led us in a wonder activity using an ambiguous image (above), first setting the stage with a moment of mindfulness. 

The group learned that contemplative wonder and inquisitive wonder are both relevant to education.  A teacher who practices “wonder-full” pedagogy is open to mystery and wonder, is attuned to the students’ emotions and wonders, and creates learning experiences rich with exploration, improvisation, imagination, and students’ interests.

From the text: 

The ‘ethos’ of the school…these norms and values are overtly found in the formal and the informal curriculum, but also form for an important part the ‘hidden curriculum’ of a school…it should go without saying that sensitivity (and time) for wonder-full experiences…should be one of the values of a school, part of the ethos of a school.”