Face equality in schools is essential for creating excellence in education

Teaching Wonder

Wonder by R J Palacio is an enjoyable and very popular novel about the school experiences and family life of a boy called August Pullman, who was born with a disfiguring facial condition.

Research has shown how this fictional work can be used by teachers to develop young readers with broad and thoughtful discussions about complex themes, such as disfigurement and disability.

To guide your class towards the most engaging, challenging and rewarding questions that Wonder can be used to explore, you – their teacher – will need to be knowledgeable and confident about the issues, the challenges, and the misconceptions commonly associated with disfigurement. This includes well-intentioned but actually patronising and exclusionary attitudes towards people who look unusual that are prevalent, and often unwitting, in our image-obsessed society.

Our Wonder lessons therefore come with a separate resource in the form of a PowerPoint presentation that works as a CPD or InSet session, for you to do first.

This will take up to half and hour. It is challenging but not onerous (you will need to budget your time to read Wonder – obviously!).

Without your expert guidance, Auggie’s Wonder adventures risk being misconstrued, and our Wonder lessons risk being simplified in ways that will tend to reinforce rather than to challenge prevailing prejudices about people with disfigurements. So our CPD/InSet activities will enable you to hold onto the realities of living with a disfigurement, while allowing the class to fully and openly discuss and explore questions and challenges.

When you have scored well on the quiz at the end, head straight for our Wonder lessons.