The Mediational Role of Engagement in the Relationship Between Curiosity and Student Development: A Preliminary Study

Abstract

This paper examines relationships among curiosity, engagement, and student development across five domains—(1) cognitive complexity, (2) knowledge acquisition, construction, integration, and application, (3) humanitarianism and civic engagement, (4) intrapersonal and interpersonal development, and (5) practical competence. Although extant research examines antecedents and outcomes of engagement extensively, no study explicitly assesses curiosity, engagement, and student development. Results suggest that engagement mediates epistemic and perceptual types of curiosity and student development. Educators and administrators can use these findings to create engaging education during which curiosity swiftly transforms into holistic student development.

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  1. Ali Abu-Rahma: Deceased 8 November 2018.

    • Ali Abu-Rahma
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Appendix: Student Development Scale

Appendix: Student Development Scale

Student Success Scale was adapted from the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (2015) CAS professional standards for higher education (9th ed.), which designates the following broad domains for student learning outcomes: (1) cognitive complexity (CC), (2) knowledge acquisition, construction, integration and application (KAA), (3) humanitarianism and civic engagement (H) (4) intrapersonal and interpersonal development (IIC), and (5) practical competence (PC). Participants are asked the following:

Please indicate your level of agreement with the next 20 statements. Provide your answer on a scale of 15, with 1 being “strongly disagree and 5 “strongly agree”.

My education…

  1. 1.

    Helps me enhance my critical thinking abilities (CC1)

  2. 2.

    Helps me improve my quantitative reasoning (CC2)

  3. 3.

    Increases my openness to new ideas and different points of view (CC3)

  4. 4.

    Helps me understand knowledge from a range of disciplines (KAA1)

  5. 5.

    Enhances my ability to relate knowledge to daily life (KAA2)

  6. 6.

    Helps me understand human differences (H1)

  7. 7.

    Helps me appreciate human differences (H2)

  8. 8.

    Increases my sensitivity to the needs of others (H3)

  9. 9.

    Helps me improve my self-esteem (IIC1)

  10. 10.

    Helps me improve my self-esteem (IIC2)

  11. 11.

    Helps me increase my confidence (IIC3)

  12. 12.

    Helps me increase my integrity (IIC4)

  13. 13.

    Helps me develop an appreciation for the natural world (IIC5)

  14. 14.

    Helps me increase my sense of civic responsibility (IIC6)

  15. 15.

    Helps me improve my ability to work with people different from myself (IIC7)

  16. 16.

    Helps me improve my time-management skills (PC1)

  17. 17.

    Helps me improve my decision-making (PC2)

  18. 18.

    Will help me to be economically self-sufficient (PC3)

  19. 19.

    Improves my competencies in the area of my professional interest (PC4)

  20. 20.

    Improves my competencies in the area of my major (PC5)

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Vracheva, V.P., Moussetis, R. & Abu-Rahma, A. The Mediational Role of Engagement in the Relationship Between Curiosity and Student Development: A Preliminary Study. J Happiness Stud 21, 1529–1547 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-019-00140-8

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Keywords

  • Engagement
  • Curiosity
  • Student development
  • Mediation