Saturday, November 22, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 327

 are born curious; we should spend less time trying to create , and more trying to save it.   

Every day I look at my two daughters, and I'm amazed with what they're willing to try, and what they want to explore.  Even my four year old, who has spent the last four years experimenting with the world around her is incredibly curious about the "whys" and "hows."  Children just can't get enough of trying to figure out how things work.

What's so fascinating to me is that I've never met a toddler or young child who lacks for curiosity.


Yet, somehow, by the time these toddlers reach middle school, or upper elementary school, for some, that curiosity, that drive to learn and experiment, is gone.


One thing I'm wondering about is maybe we're going about approaching curiosity in schools all wrong.  Sure, we need to make sure we don't cut or destroy creativity, and it is clear that in some cases, we need to provide assistance to educators on how to avoid "curiosity killing" (I talked about this in an earlier post this year. . . one of the best ways to promote curiosity?  Be comfortable saying "I don't know.")

But aside from making sure all understand the importance of promoting curious thinking, maybe we need to worry less about creating curiosity, and spend more time on the defensive, by doing what we can to save it.

Since our youngest learners and leaders are born with a natural desire to be curious (most animals exhibit this inborn trait too), we don't have to "build" this up in our youngest members of society.  But, we, as a society (it isn't just education that is doing this, it is our parenting, our scheduling of day-to-day life, etc.), need to work harder to save it in our children so that by the time they reach secondary school, they still have that fire burning to learn all that the world has to offer.

As an educator, this means letting students do more exploring in class, with freedom to learn, and a strand of inquiry throughout.

As a parent, this means backing up  a bit, and letting a child learn on his/her own; that climbing up on a rock might result in a fall and a bruise, but wow, it sure was fun to climb up there. If we don't let our children and our students explore and take some risks, they'll no longer be curious about what exists around the next bend.  And if we want a society that lives on innovation and a desire for constant improvement, then we need to make sure that we save curiosity, at all costs.

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