Project 5: Wonder and Human Flourishing
This project tests two sets of hypotheses. The first set concerns children’s sense of wonder: children differ in a) their proneness to wonder; b) the things (situations, objects, experiences) that evoke their wonder; c) the type(s) of wonder they are (most) prone to; and d) the emotions that accompany their wonder or to which their wonder leads.
The second set concerns the connection between wonder and human flourishing.
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.
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.
Project 8: Monograph on contemplative wonder and education
Quite a lot has been and is being written about wonder these days, but much less on wonder and education. Project Leader Anders Schinkel will devote a monograph to this subject. The book will draw attention to, and explain, the importance of contemplative wonder – a type of wonder that is a response to the mystery of existence – for education in general, and for moral and political education in particular.