A theoretical framework and questionnaire for wonder-full education

Judith Conijn, Willeke Rietdijk, Evelien Broekhof, Lucija Andre, Anders Schinkel

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Many recent studies emphasize the fundamental importance of stimulating wonder in education, for example, to increase children’s intrinsic motivation to learn and their emotional engagement with the lesson contents. Our study advances the research regarding wonder in education in three different ways. First, we present a theoretical framework to identify eight teaching strategies and three school policy dimensions relevant for teachers and schools to stimulate wonder in children. Second, based on this framework, we developed the multidimensional Wonder-full Education questionnaire (WEQ). The WEQ is completed by teachers and principals to quantitatively assess the degree to which primary schools and their teachers provide a wonder-stimulating environment. Third, using comprehensive psychometric analyses of the data of
N = 220 teachers and N = 91 principals from 182 Dutch schools, we investigated the dimensionality, reliability and validity of the WEQ. The dimensionality analyses identified two primary dimensions of teaching strategies and confirmed the three-dimensional structure of a school policy for stimulating wonder. Overall, the results suggest that the WEQ has satisfactory psychometric properties. We conclude that the new framework and questionnaire allow research regarding wonder in education to be extended from mainly theoretical work to empirical research that can also advance educational practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-444
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
Issue number3
Early online date20 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2022


This work was supported by the John Templeton Foundation [grant number 60815].

FundersFunder number
John Templeton Foundation60815


    • wonder
    • wonder-full education questionnaire
    • teaching strategies
    • school policy
    • validation


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