A colleague of mine sent me the following article by Susan Engel, professor of psychology at Williams College, “Joy: A Subject Schools Lack.” This is a particularly fitting article for those of us at McDonogh since “joy” is the central word in our school’s mission statement. As I started reading, I found myself nodding more and more vigorously. I think that, sometimes, when we talk of curiosity, joy, student-centered learning, and so on, we risk having these ideas questioned (this is not a new theme for me). But as I burrow ever further into research on the brain and education, I am convinced that we must make curiosity and joy real priorities in our work — these qualities pave the way to student motivation, thinking, and deep learning. I am convinced of this. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this in the coming weeks and months, but I really just wanted to spread the name, Susan Engel. And now I leave you with a talk Engel gave a few years ago at Williams, The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity.
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