Reigniting Students' Curiosity: Your New Playbook [59:54]

Curiosity is the foundation of deep and meaningful learning—in fact, research has shown that curiosity is among the most powerful determinants of academic achievement.

Unfortunately, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, studies of secondary classrooms showed that most students asked very few questions in class, if any. These pre-existing dynamics have only been exacerbated by our current challenges. Fully 88% of teachers responding to a recent EdWeek survey reported their students are less motivated to learn since the start of the pandemic. What can educators do to turn the tide, reignite curiosity in the classroom, and reconnect students to their intrinsic desire to learn?

In this engaging panel, four district leaders from around the country share lessons learned, best practices, and from-the-trenches wisdom about sparking and sustaining student curiosity in today's schools. View the recording to:

  • Learn to apply principles of design thinking to student learning experiences for deeper engagement
  • Explore methods for infusing greater voice and choice into the content and structure of student work
  • Reflect on the importance of culturally sustaining pedagogy and culturally relevant resources in fostering student curiosity
  • Gain insight and inspiration from success stories of leaders driving the shift toward a districtwide culture of inquiry


Melissa Seggelke

Melissa Seggelke is the Humanities Manager for Denver Public Schools (DPS). She has been with DPS for over 13 years and has previously supported both educators and students as a social studies teacher, content literacy partner, and curriculum specialist.

Erin Conklin

Erin Conklin is the Supervisor of K-12 Social Studies for Duval County Schools, Florida. Her background in education includes teaching middle school social studies, serving as Region Assistant Principal, and extensive work on state committees ranging from standards improvement to assessment creation. In addition to her role of district supervisor, she is currently the secretary of the Florida Association of Social Studies Supervisors, and an adjunct professor with the University of North Florida. In 2021, Erin's appreciation and respect for the teaching civil rights and civil liberties earned her the Harry T. Moore Teaching for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Award.

Jacquelyn Whiting

Jacquelyn Whiting is the Instructional Coach and Technology Integrator for a school district in Connecticut. She has a bachelor's in Government Studies and Studio Art from Connecticut College and a master's in Social Studies and Education from South Connecticut State University. She is also a Google Certified Innovator, a Google Certified Coach, and Local Activator for Future Design School. Jacquelyn is the co-author of News Literacy: The Keys to Combating Fake News and the author of Student-Centered Learning by Design. She presents frequently on human-centered design, student and educator voice, and innovative educational technology practices. You can follow her tweeting @MsJWhiting.

Sarah Culp Searles

Sarah Culp Searles, MSIS, is the district specialist in library media services for the Knox County Schools, Knoxville, TN. She earned her master's degree in information science and graduate certificate in educational administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Sarah is currently working with AASL on a book delving into the Shared Foundation of Explore from the National School Library Standards. Prior to working at the district level, she was librarian at Knoxville's West High School, where her program was honored as part of the AASL President's Vision Tour of outstanding school libraries nationwide. Searles currently serves on the AASL Board of Directors. Follow her on twitter @sarahsearles.

MLA Citation

Seggelke, Melissa, Sarah Culp Searles, Erin Conklin, and Jacquelyn Whiting. "Reigniting Students' Curiosity: Your New Playbook [59:54]." ABC-CLIO Solutions, ABC-CLIO, 2022, Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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