Young children are naturally curious. One of our goals in the Primary School is to nurture and celebrate that curiosity every day. We do this by asking lots of questions and resisting the urge to provide all the answers. We try to ask deep, meaningful, open ended questions that encourage reflection and problem solving.
The benefits of wonder extend beyond building wisdom. “Experiencing a sense of awe promotes altruism, loving-kindness, and magnanimous behavior.” Awe is “that sense of wonder we feel in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.” People commonly experience awe in nature, but also in response to religion, art, and music.
One of the installations in the Primary School lobby is focused on wonder. Everyone has the opportunity to contribute, to reveal their “wonder.” Parents, teachers, visitors, and some children have posted a response to the question, “Do you have a wonder?” This is a small sample of the responses we received.
“I wonder what makes people love each other?”
“I wonder how long a June bug’s life is?”
“I wonder how slugs and snails make slime?”
“I wonder if there is anything we can wonder about that we can’t look up the answer on the internet?”
“I wonder what our school will look like in 20 years?”
“I wonder about all the amazing ways our students will impact the world: by being kind, by being innovative, by making people smile.”
“I wonder what my dog would say if he could talk?”
Socrates is credited with saying, “Wisdom begins in wonder.” Children’s natural curiosity makes learning a joyful journey. We hope our students never stop wondering.
 “Awe, the Small Self, and Prosocial Behavior,” Paul Piff, PhD, University of California, Irvine, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, May 2015.