“Two words sum up what schools should do more of to improve - cultivate wonderment!”
Dr Matthew McFall
Many schools pay lip service to the idea that curiosity, wonder and magic can improve motivation for learning. Dr Matthew McFall is proof - living and academic proof – that such approaches really do work.

Probably the world’s only school-based ‘Agent of Wonder’, Matthew’s research is all about strategies and structures that generate wonder and curiosity and their effect on engagement and learning. Whether it is the creation of the awesome ‘Wonder Room’ in what was effectively a large cupboard in an inner-city school to a full scale ‘Wonder Maze’ (‘Every school should have one’ – The Guardian) to school trails of philosophical questions to ‘Cabinets of Curiosities’ full of magic and wonder, Matthew has the experience to show how all schools can use such ideas to enhance learning and motivation, the academic research to back it up and the flair as a presenter to help schools make their own magic real.

Feedback from recent events include:

"Thank you again for such an inspirational morning yesterday. You really fired everyone up and I’ve seen all sorts of interesting things appearing and happening today"

“All the staff who attended were mesmerized by Matthew McFall and enthused to adopt many of the ideas. All were keen to hear him again. The idea of creating wonder- allow students to explore (get hands on!), imagine and ask/ answer questions”

"Truly inspiring, certainly reigniting my wonderment! Can’t wait to get back to school to create a wonder room!"

"It was like a Spiritual and mental shower"

"Lots of brilliant ideas, really inspirational speaker - charity shop hunt, curiosity tent on the field amazing, inspiring, you re-ignited my passion, thank you!"

"Thank you for a fabulous day. The whole staff have been buzzing today and the ideas that have started to be generated promise to make the future interesting."

"You were simply outstanding today - a breath of fresh air"

"A child in my Year 2 class said that a little white bottle lid was, and I quote: 'A swimming pool for a tooth fairy!!"

"Totally inspiring, I’m filled with wonder"
“A Cabinet of Curiosities is a room, a display, or a box dedicated to the weird and the wonderful. It is a place for discovery, connection, meaning, and mystery” - The Little Book of Awe and Wonder

To read more about Dr Matthew McFall please click here

  • Matthew has been with Independent Thinking since 2009 and is one of The 33

  • Matthew’s DBS number is 001429566981 Issued 18th December 2013

  • Click here to see our price guide


The Big Conference at Cotgrave - 17th March 2017

There is Another Way - our Big Conference at Cotgrave, NG12 3JG takes place on 17th March 2017 and is a day for everyone passionate about raising standards, bringing out the best in their schools - and doing it the right way. Cost: £149 (plus VAT) for the first delegate and £129 (plus VAT) for further delegates from the same institution. NB: We can only accept payment by debit or credit card through online booking (just select the PayPal payment method option - you do not need to have a PayPal account). Click view below or on the event page on the right to see the full programme.

14th March 2017 - Thinking in Class: Raising Achievement Through Curiosity, Wonder and Confusion - Marble Arch - Edgware Road, London

Registrations are now OPEN for the Independent Thinking and IAPS brand new conference guaranteed to make you smile and think and return to school armed to ensure your school focuses on fanning the flames of learning, not just collecting the results. For the full programme please click VIEW or see the event page to the right and to book click on the page to the right: Book on a National Conference

Look Then Learn

With Jane Hewitt and Dr Matthew McFall. Using photography and wonder in the classroom.

Parent Event

For many schools, getting parents to the school for an event is something that is only beaten in difficulty by getting the right parents to school for an event. That said, the parents who do come to our Learning and Motivation for Parents Events always head home buzzing with ideas that are not only helpful in dealing with their children but also very relevant for their own careers and personal development.