A SchoolHouse for Everyone

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Curiosity

Laura Grill
October 10, 2020

A science educator recently said to me, “curiosity is the engine for all development.” I couldn’t agree more.

When students are curious the learning is that much more powerful. Their brains are primed to take in new information. We question what sparks joy, what makes students happy. We should instead ask more frequently, “What are you curious about?”

During reading we ask students to annotate and reflect on their wonderings. The more we understand what children are curious about, the easier it is to encourage them to dig deeper (while developing them as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists and historians). The Reggio philosophy taps into this idea that learning ought to be student interest-centered with questions from students paving the way. Students construct their knowledge with teacher support to develop new skills.

Excite in their curiosity. Listen to your curious children wonder. Ask them questions about the topics that interest them (they may bore you, but it’s about your children’s development). Showing your interest now will pay off later when they become a teenager and you really have different interests!

Now is the time to model and engage in conversations. You all will learn something in the process! The children need to build theories and test them, as opposed to only be fed facts. They need time to observe and construct their ideas as to how the world works. They need support in answering the question: what makes one piece of writing stronger than another? But ultimately they need to know and understand the answer. If they wonder about the question first, they will have a deeper understanding later.

Students learn best through trial and error, then reflection(this is not to say that guess and check is the best strategy to use to solve all math problems- trial and error is forming a hypothesis and testing it out, then reflecting, and testing again).

Continue to ignite and celebrate their curiosity. Then follow it.