Wonder-Full Education: The Centrality of Wonder in Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Wonder-Full Education

The Centrality of Wonder in Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum, 1st Edition

Edited by Kieran Egan, Annabella I. Cant, Gillian Judson


248 pages

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For many children much of the time their experience in classrooms can be rather dull, and yet the world the school is supposed to initiate children into is full of wonder. This book offers a rich understanding of the nature and roles of wonder in general and provides multiple suggestions for to how to revive wonder in adults (teachers and curriculum makers) and how to keep it alive in children. Its aim is to show that adequate education needs to take seriously the task of evoking wonder about the content of the curriculum and to show how this can routinely be done in everyday classrooms. The authors do not wax flowery; they present strong arguments based on either research or precisely described experience, and demonstrate how this argument can be seen to work itself out in daily practice. The emphasis is not on ways of evoking wonder that might require virtuoso teaching, but rather on how wonder can be evoked about the everyday features of the math or science or social studies curriculum in regular classrooms.


"In conclusion, the book criticizes traditional eductaion and teaching, while it provides the readers with historical, philosophical, pedagogical and educational arguments for the recognition of the importance of wonder as part of the educational significance of emotion and imagination. It is ful of ideas for innovation with wonder-full education playing a key role."

Dimitris Koliopoulos, Science and Education

"Wonder-Full Education is a wonderful addition to any educationalist’s professional library."

Damien Morgan, Our Lady of the Southern Cross College

"As I read Wonder-Full Education, I often experienced joy and excitement. The book both inspired wonder and gave me ideas for how to encourage wonder in the classroom."

Cara Furman, Educational Theory, Volume 66, Number 5, 2016

Table of Contents



I. The nature of wonder and its educational uses

1. Our Hearts Leap Up: Awakening Wonder within the Classroom. Laura Piersol

2. Wow! What if? So what? Education and the imagination of wonder: Fascination, possibilities and opportunities missed. Dave Trotman

3. Reclaiming the Value of Wonder in Science Education. Yannis Hadzigeorgiou

4. Wondering about wonder in mathematics. Dov Zazkis and Rina Zazkis

II. Engaging wonder in everyday classrooms

5. Opportunity to teach: The joy of teaching what you know deeply, find fascinating, and want to share. David C. Berliner

6. Renewing the sense of wonder in the minds of high school and college students. Keiichi Takaya

7. From “unknown questions” begins a wonderful education: Kyozai-Kaishaku and the dialogic classroom. Kiyotaka Miyazaki

8. The talking table: sharing wonder in early childhood education. Fleur Griffiths

9. The Upside Down Picnic Table: The Wonder of Learning through Improvisational Play. Lynn Fels

III. Dimensions of educational wonder

10. Wonder, awe and teaching techniques. Kieran Egan

11. Wonder for Sale. Annabella Cant

12. An Educational Leadership Perspective: managing and revealing the DNA of wonder in teaching and learning. Di Fleming

13. The keys to wonder-rich Science Learning. Lynne Bianchi

14. Creative Imagination in Play- Worlds: Wonder-Full Early Childhood Education in Finland and the United States. Pentti Hakkarainen & Beth Ferholt

15. Wonder as a gateway experience. Thomas W Nielsen & Bronwen Haralambous

About the Authors

About the Editors

Kieran Egan is Professor and Canada Research Chair, Faculty of Education, and Director, Imaginative Education Research Group at Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Anabella Cant is a PhD candidate in the Curriculum Theory and Implementation Program, and Associate Director, Imaginative Education Research Group at Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Gillian Judson is Lecturer and Director, Imaginative Education Research Group at Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects