Project 6: Wonder-Full Education, wonder, and human flourishing
This is a large quantitative study, firstly, of the extent and manner in which classroom activities and teachers’ interaction with pupils, as well as school policy in 60 primary schools are ‘wonder-full’; and secondly, of the connection between wonder-full education and children’s sense of wonder. Thirdly, the data gathered here will be combined with the data from project 5 to establish correlations between wonder-full education and children’s flourishing.
General hypotheses tested are: 1) wonder-full education is positively correlated with children’s proneness to wonder; 2) wonder-full education is positively correlated with children’s flourishing; 3) this relation is mediated by children’s sense of wonder.
Depending on the composition of the school sample we may also be able to investigate a number of further hypotheses in an exploratory way. For instance, it might be expected that inquisitive wonder plays a more prominent role in developmental education schools than in other types of school, because curiosity is a central value in this pedagogical approach, giving a prominent place to imaginative play and learning by discovery. Similarly, we might expect to see that contemplative wonder plays a more prominent role in religious schools than in non-religious schools. Because contemplative wonder is a response to mystery and related to big questions such as ‘Why does anything exist?’ it is closely connected with the question of life’s meaning, which is explicitly thematized in religions and religious education.