McREL’s Curiosity Works resources provide the tools and methods to support curiosity among teachers, leaders, and learners at every level of learning. We’ll help you understand, create, and develop effective, sustainable, and curiosity-driven learning in your school that unleashes the power of curiosity and enhances learning for everyone—teachers, students, and school leaders.

Curiosity is not static, it’s a continuous journey, and McREL can be your guide. Contact us today for resources, coaching, and consulting to boost curiosity in your school or system.

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What if all our students came to school eager to learn, self-motivated, and passionate? What if they were, in a word, curious?

And what if we could also unleash educators’ professional curiosity, tapping into the yearning professionals feel not just to survive, but to thrive in what we do? Wouldn’t our classrooms be happier and more productive?

Grounded in McREL’s research-based What Matters Most® framework, our approach walks school communities through phases of transformation, from ensuring readiness to building a purposeful community. Some schools will progress straight through, while others will move in and out of phases throughout their improvement journey, depending on where they want to focus. Curiosity Works is for all schools—from those struggling to improve to those looking to raise the bar through innovative, learner-centered practices.

Consulting & Professional Learning

Overview of Curiosity Works

1-day onsite professional learning session for school and district leaders
  • Learn why curiosity is an important lever for learning and how to cultivate it in teachers, leaders, and learners.
  • Learn to use instructional rounds to find and leverage bright spots.
  • Discover the power of peer coaching for school improvement.
  • Practice using an initiative planning template to articulate next steps for improvement.


Getting Started with Curiosity Works

2- or 3-day onsite professional learning session for leadership teams
  • Articulate and strengthen your school’s core values, mission, and vision.
  • Engage in a data review process that focuses on bright spots as well as opportunities for growth.
  • Establish a focus for improvement or innovation, and identify high-leverage strategies for action.
  • Draft a peer coaching plan.
  • Identify leadership actions to support implementation of change initiatives.


Maintaining Momentum with Coaching and Ongoing Support

  • Once a school begins its improvement and innovation journey with Curiosity Works, we offer ongoing support to school leadership teams and entire faculties with customized professional learning sessions.
  • We can provide a variety of coaching services, from online check-ins to multi-day onsite visits.


Measuring What Works

  • You’ll want to know if your school improvement efforts are making a difference.
  • We can help with an extra set of eyes on your performance data, informing deeper professional learning.
  • Our surveys will help you gauge progress in areas such as data use, school culture, and trust.
  • Our online platform, EmpowerEd, can make it simple for you to collect and review data about implementation of instructional practices.



Curiosity and Powerful Learning Series

Curiosity drives the impulse to learn—and our Curiosity and Powerful Learning model shows school teams how to systemically develop and support curious learners and create an effective, sustainable learning system supported by students, staff, and school leaders. Based on a successful school improvement effort in Melbourne, Australia, this program is designed to help teachers, instructional coaches, school leaders, and system administrators embark on a professional journey to lift student literacy, numeracy, and curiosity. Written originally for Australian educators, the theories of action and recommended activities outline practices that have been tested and refined in schools over time and can be adapted and used by schools and districts around the world, including the U.S.


Unleashing Curiosity Quick Guide Series

Our Unleashing Curiosity guides are part of McREL’s Curiosity Works resources. Based in part on a successful system-wide effort in Melbourne, Australia, that improved student achievement by unleashing student curiosity, these resources give teachers and school leaders tips, suggestions, and ideas to encourage professional dialogue with other teachers and increase student curiosity. Combining these insights with McREL’s analysis of best education practices from around the world, our Curiosity Works resources support a better way of transforming schools—not through top-down pressure, but through helping teachers and school leaders work together to develop shared professional expertise and leverage the power of motivation and curiosity.


Free White Paper | Curiosity Works: Moving your school from improvement to innovation

What if every student were curious, self-motivated, and passionate about their learning? Wouldn’t our classrooms be more joyful and dynamic and our schools be more innovative? In this white paper, Kristin Rouleau lays the groundwork for a powerful new model for school improvement—an inside-out, curiosity-driven approach—that looks for and builds on schools’ bright spots in ways that go beyond improvement and help unleash both student and educator curiosity. This innovative approach relies on a school’s readiness to commit to shared values within a purposeful community, a focus on teaching and learning, support for professional growth among teachers using a triad peer coaching model, and a consistent, deep practice that weathers the storms of change.