CURIOSITY IN STUDENTS

Posted on June 2, 2021 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

The greatest advantage of curiosity lies in its power to motivate learning in areas of life and work that are meaningful to the learner. It points students toward the knowledge, skills, relationships, and experiences that they need to live full and productive lives.

Value and reward curiosity.

Often, the temptation is to reward students when their curiosity leads to the desired outcome or good grade. But it is more important to notice and reinforce curiosity when you see it in action. When you praise students by describing how their questions, explorations, and investigations are contributing to their own or classroom learning, you let them know that they are valued for their motivation, regardless of the grade they achieve.

Teach students how to ask quality questions.

Quality questions are a vital medium for curiosity. Google is great at finding answers but does not stimulate the formation of questions. Good questions contain “why,” “what if,” and “how.”

Notice when kids feel puzzled or confused.

Is there a “teachable moment” that will spark a desire to search for answers? How can you invite students to see problems as mysteries waiting to be solved?

Encourage students to tinker.

Tinkering might be constructive play with feelings, concepts, ideas, and materials. How can students create a new widget, essay, blog article, poem, science experiment, service, or product from their explorations? Tinkering with materials, thoughts, and emotions stimulates curiosity and lead to innovative outcomes.

Spread the curiosity around.

Create opportunities for more curious and less curious students to work together in project-based learning. Curiosity is contagious in groups working toward a real-world common goal, helping to cross-pollinate questions and new ideas.

Use current events.

News reports can lead students to ask purposeful questions that help unearth what is beneath the surface of societal problems. According to research, asking “why” is the critical ingredient in unraveling these difficult conflicts. This often gets to the fundamental reason why people disagree about solutions.

Teach students to be sceptics.

The term sceptic is derived from the Greek skeptikos, meaning “to inquire” or “to look around.” A sceptic requires additional evidence before accepting someone’s claims as true. He or she is willing to challenge the status quo with open-minded, deep questioning. Galileo was a sceptic. So was Steve Jobs.

Explore a variety of cultures and societies.

How is one culture or society uniquely different from another one? Encourage students to investigate their genetic or emotional links to other cultures. Why do they relate to certain beliefs or values that other societies hold?

Model curiosity.

You can do this in your respectful relationships with students by exploring their interests, expanding upon their ideas, and engaging them in meaningful dialogue about what matters most.

Encourage curiosity at home.

Help parents understand the importance of curiosity in their child’s development and suggest ways that they can foster it at home. Supportive caregivers can have a tremendous impact on developing curiosity and other essential abilities.

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