Beyond the Books: Teacher Practices and Perceptions of Teaching Caring and Curiosity

Louis S. Nadelson, Sandra G. Nadelson, Ann Broyles, Janet Edgar, Jeryca Einhorn, Annette Hatchett, Tabitha Scroggins, Alicia Skipper, Cara Ulrich


Caring and curiosity are fundamental to learning and working well with others. Individuals who are both caring and
curious have empathetic curiosity and want to know about other people and take the initiative to learn about
perspectives, needs, and goals of those around them. Empathetic curiosity can be enhanced through activities in
schools. The goal of our project was to determine teachers’ perceptions and practices associated with teaching and
learning caring and curiosity. The data we collected from 183 K-12 teachers revealed positive perceptions of
teaching caring and curiosity. We found that the instructional methods used to teach caring shifted with the curricular
content. Our research also revealed that the focus of curiosity changed when the teaching concentrated on content
rather than the instruction method. The teachers relatively limited focus on caring for others when teaching caring
suggests that they may not be considering empathetic curiosity as a learning goal. Based on our findings we interpret
our results and provide implications for teaching and learning.

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching

ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)

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