Project 7: A qualitative study of children’s sense of wonder
This project complements the mostly quantitative measures of projects 5 and 6 with rich descriptions gained from interviews with teachers and children. The schools will be selected at random from the 60 schools that will be part of projects 5 and 6. From each of the selected schools, one child and one teacher from grade 7 (children aged 10-11) and one child and one teacher from grade 8 (ages 11-12) will be interviewed.
All interviews will be semi-structured, allowing for new ideas to be included in the conversation. Children will be interviewed about what wonder means to them.
Teachers will be interviewed about how they try to give wonder a place in their teaching. They will be asked what types of activities they design to elicit wonder, what indications they look for to see whether they were successful in eliciting wonder, and whether they also see moral effects of activities that evoke wonder – does children’s attitude towards others change, perhaps? They will also be asked about their own sense of wonder, and how they perceive its influence on their teaching and the children.
Both children and teachers will first be asked to comment on the questions from their own perspective. Then, they will be given the definitions of the two types of wonder that are used within this study and asked if in light of these they would want to change their answers.
Our hypotheses for this study are that most children in this age category will be able to describe moments of experiencing wonder, but will differ in the experience of wonder (see hypotheses project 5). Another hypothesis is that there will be differences between teachers and schools in how much wonder is elicited (see hypotheses project 6). Furthermore, we expect to find that when teachers state that they give much attention to wonder, their pupils will experience this.