Simon Brooks

Educator, Facilitator & Change Agent

Stoking the Fires: How K-12 teachers might cultivate students’ epistemic curiosity to enhance engagement and deepen understanding

‘Things are wonderful when we can think of no way of explaining them. It may be a magician’s card trick, or a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, or a Schubert trio… But whatever it is, if we find it inexplicable, we are inclined to call it marvellous, and wonder at it’ (Lipman, 1980).
According to a large body of research, cultivating curiosity leads to enhanced retention of information, development of deeper understandings, and increased cognitive engagement. In this interactive presentation, Simon will introduce participants to curiosity-based-learning, a practical pedagogy enabling teachers to awaken and sustain their students’ epistemic curiosity in service of powerful learning. Participants will explore the values and beliefs underpinning classrooms in which curiosity is cultivated, and the nature of interactions and relationships which promote curiosity. They will also leave this session armed with several practical strategies and approaches to consider when crafting learning experiences with curiosity at the core.


Simon Brooks works with schools and educators around the world interested in building cultures of thinking, where children delight in their learning and develop deep, meaningful and lasting understanding through the process of becoming critical and creative thinkers. Simon’s most recent in-school role prior to becoming an independent educational consultant in 2016 was as Regional Principal for an international network of independent schools. In 2017, Simon became a founding member of the Project Zero Sydney Network, and continues his work with this not-for-profit organisation designed to share Harvard Project Zero ideas with the educational community.