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New Book Gives Teachers 21 Ways to Harness the Power of Curiosity in Every Grade and Subject

By December 4, 2019No Comments

December 4, 2019 | Denver, CO—Tools for Igniting Curiosity, co-published today by Silver Strong & Associates and McREL International, gives teachers 21 ways to turn students’ natural curiosity into a self-sustaining force for lifelong learning.

Designed to be used in all grade levels and subjects, the book’s tools are aligned with cognitive science to help teachers capitalize on key levers proven to pique student curiosity—levers such as mysteries, controversy, missing information, personal experiences, and emotions. The tools also show teachers how to sustain curiosity over the course of lessons and units so that students actively transform classroom content into deep understanding. By tapping into the natural power of curiosity, teachers increase engagement and help students learn how to learn—and how to love it so much that they want to keep learning.

“In several of our other works we’ve reported on the power of curiosity to ignite joyful learning and promote student success in school and life, while also highlighting classroom conditions that unleash student curiosity,” said McREL CEO Bryan Goodwin, who co-authored Tools for Igniting Curiosity with Harvey F. Silver, Susan Kreisman, and Matthew J. Perini. “In this book we go to the heart of the matter: How, exactly, can teachers create these conditions so that these moments of joyful learning become the daily norm in their classrooms? And just as important, how can they teach students to embrace curiosity thinking and take ownership of their own learning?”

The tools are grouped into chapters that nurture the growth of student curiosity in stages, from capturing students’ interest (“Sparking Students’ Curiosity”) to keeping engagement levels high (“Fanning the Flame”) to inspiring students to pursue their own curiosity (“Creating an Inner Fire”). The benefits of each tool are succinctly described, along with the basic steps, classroom examples, and ideas for adapting the tool to a variety of settings and purposes.

Part of the award-winning Tools for Today’s Educators series, Tools for Igniting Curiosity is designed to make classroom implementation simple and practical for teachers. For example, the “Before, During, After” tool shows teachers how a few small, curiosity-piquing moves can supercharge classroom questioning, while the “Curiosity Clubs” tool shows teachers how to design cooperative learning activities that are driven by students’ personal curiosity.

Tools for Igniting Curiosity can be purchased at and

What education professionals are saying about Tools for Igniting Curiosity:

“What sort of resource do we want as educators? Something that addresses a need, something grounded in research, something easy to grasp and implement, and something that makes a difference for our students. With Tools for Igniting Curiosity, that’s exactly what the authors have provided.”
—Pete Hall, professional development agent, former principal, co-author of The Principal Influence

“This book is an ideal professional development resource. It makes it so much easier for teachers to design and deliver instruction that actually inspires students. It also helps teachers take a fresh look at their subject matter, no matter how new or expert they are.”
—Stephen Sturgill, chief of staff and transformation officer, Sandusky City Schools, Sandusky, Ohio

Tools for Igniting Curiosity reminds me of why we became educators. Each tool helps create a learning culture that makes students more eager to learn. Using these same tools in staff meetings has amped up quality engagement there, too.”
—Brett Fickes, director of innovative curriculum design and instruction, Thornton Township High School District 205, South Holland, Illinois

“I love it! These tools are a must for teachers to spark and keep the interest of their students.”
—Nicole Anloague, math teacher, Millennium Community School, Columbus, Ohio

About Silver Strong & Associates

Silver Strong & Associates is an educational consulting and publishing company that provides custom professional development and builds school improvement partnerships with schools and districts throughout the country. Through its own channels and strategic partnerships with schools, districts, and leading national publishers, Silver Strong & Associates also produces a range of resources for educators on a variety of topics—including award-winning books, professional learning guides, customized workshop designs, and classroom posters.

About McREL International

McREL is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education research and development organization that turns knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance for educators across the U.S. and around the world. Schools and school systems turn to McREL for high-quality research and evaluation, professional learning and coaching, and strategic planning and implementation support for school improvement and innovation projects.

Tools for Igniting Curiosity is available now at


For more information, please contact:

Roger Fiedler, 303.632.5579,

McREL is a non-profit, non-partisan education research and development organization that since 1966 has turned knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for teachers and education leaders across the U.S. and around the world.