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Ask a Redbird scholar: How do you inspire lifelong curiosity in students?

How do you inspire lifelong curiosity in your students for the topics you teach?
—Shea Grehan, freshman photography major, Normal

I believe that the best way to inspire lifelong curiosity is to foster a real interest that transcends any class meeting or grade. Part of my responsibility as a teacher is to help my students realize the value that knowing these topics can have and continue to have on their lives. I teach in the area of business information systems, and I find there are lots of opportunities from both personal and professional perspectives to instill lifelong curiosity. I have a few tricks that I use.
I try to make sure that the topics covered are relevant and important. This means that I connect the topics in the classroom to what is happening in the real world. From the minute they step out of a class session, I want my students to be able to see and understand the world differently.

Accounting Professor Rosie Hauck

Accounting Professor Rosie Hauck

I do my very best to make topics that I teach useful. I believe that the more my students are able to use the concepts in their daily lives, the more they will continue to engage with the topics. Fortunately for me, given society’s use of information and technologies, I have lots of opportunities to help students learn about concepts and develop skills they can use in their lives, personally as well as professionally.

Finally, I try to make it clear that what my students are learning and the skills they are developing give them a leg up in the real world and sets them apart. I want them to realize that what they know and what they can do are valuable.

It is my hope that what I do in the classroom plants the seeds of inspiring curiosity and interest that will sprout and continue to grow far beyond their ISU days!

Rosie Hauck, associate professor, Department of Accounting

Our top faculty experts answer questions from the Illinois State University community in the “Ask a Redbird Scholar” section. To submit a question, email Kevin Bersett at kberse@IllinoisState.edu or tweet it to @ISUResearch. Chosen questions and answers appear in each issue of Illinois State’s new research magazine, the Redbird Scholar. To read other “Ask a Redbird Scholar” posts, visit IllinoisState.edu/RedbirdScholar.

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