Intrigue Your Students for Better Learning

Intrigue Your Students for Better Learning

Nothing helps students learn better than to start with a sense of intrigue, wonder, or curiosity about a topic.  When students have a purpose for learning something, it primes their pump, so to speak, and gets them looking for answers.  People call this approach various names:

  • creating intellectual need
  • backward teaching
  • starting with the concrete
  • inductive teaching
  • some even talk of “confusing” students—that is, motivating them to get out of a mental muddle.

These approaches maximize their social and emotional drive to figure new things out and put them to use.

In the following video, Bucknell professor Mike Prince, an active learning expert, uses the term inductive teaching as he explains how he gets his engineering students engaged in asking questions and generating ideas to solve a heat transfer problem. By setting up an intriguing problem, he promotes students' inductive learning of new, important concepts while they work to design a solution.

Inductive teaching sounds good, but does it work? Why should you change from traditional lecturing? In the following video, Mike Prince adds discussion of compelling data showing that promoting intrigue through inductive approaches works!