"The Curiosity Project”: Re-igniting the Desire to Inquire and Transformation Through Intrinsically-Motivated Learning and Mentorship
Keywords:curiosity, inquiry, project-based learning, intrinsic motivation, transformation
Abstract"The Curiosity Project" encourages students to engage in intrinsically-motivated, inquiry-based project learning, investigating topics that interest them and following them down long and often winding roads, where u-turns, hidden side roads, and venturing off the map are a cause for excitement not a distraction from the destination. These inquiry-based, semester-long, student-led projects incorporate proximal goals of weekly learning logs and peer group meetings and in-depth feedback from peers and senior student facilitators. There are no page/word limits or minimum/maximum number of resources, just students' burgeoning sense of what constitutes "high-quality work". Community-oriented projects round out this experience. In this paper, I outline the structure of "The Curiosity Project", its theoretical underpinnings, and present both quantitative and qualitative data that suggest that not only are the project's basic goals being met but that there are unexpected, but theoretically supported, transformational properties stemming from student engagement in this project.
Adams, M. G. (2004). Change your question, change your life. San Francisco: Koehler Publishing.
Apte, J. (2009). Facilitating transformative learning: a framework for practice. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 49(1), 169-189.
Bandura, A., & Schunk, D. (1981). Cultivating competence, self-efficacy, and intrinsic interest through proximal self-motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 41(3), 586-598.
Berger, W. (2014). A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. New York: Bloomsbury.
Blumenfeld, P. C., Soloway, E., Marx, R. W., Krajcik, J. S., Guzdial, M., & Palincsar, A. (1991). Motivating project-based learning: Sustaining the doing, supporting the learning. Educational psychologist, 26(3-4), 369-398.
Bronson, P. & Merryman, A. (2010). The Creativity Crisis. Newsweek, July 10, 2010.
Brookfield, S., (2000). Transformative learning as ideology critique In J. Mezirow & Associates (Eds.), Learning as transformation. Critical perspectives on a theory in progress (pp. 125–150). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Brown, A. & Campione, J. (1994). Guided discovery in a community of learners In McGilly, K. (Ed.) Classroom lessons: Integrating cognitive theory and classroom practice. Cambridge, MA, US: The MIT Press, pp. 229-270.
Coplin, B., (2010). 10 Things Employers Want You to Learn in College: The Skills You Need to Succeed. Berkley, CA: Ten Speed Press.
Friedman, D. B., Crews, T. B., Caicedo, J. M., Besley, J. C., Weinberg, J., & Freeman, M. L. (2010). An exploration into inquiry-based learning by a multidisciplinary group of higher education faculty. Higher Education, 59(6), 765-783.
Fry, S.W. & Villagomez, A. (2012). Writing to learn: Benefits and Limitations. College Teaching, 60(4), 170-175.
Li, L. Y., Exploring the Use of Focused Freewriting in Developing Academic Writing, Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 4(1), 2007.
Mezirow, J. (2000). Learning to think like an adult: Core concepts of transformation theory. In Mezirow, J. & Associates (eds.), Learning as Transformation: Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mezirow, J. (1998). On critical reflection. Adult Education Quarterly, 48(3), 185-198.
Mussel, P. (2013). Introducing the construct curiosity for predicting job performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(4), 453-472.
Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54–67.
All published works remain the copyright of the author, and are published under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License. Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attributions-ShareAlike 4.0 License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) following the journal's published version of the work, as it can lead to productive exchanges and greater citation of published work.