Curiosity is a key element in effective learning. When students are curious, they are much more likely to ask questions and to engage in the learning process. Studies have shown that curiosity and question-asking decrease significantly for students once they begin formal schooling. To offset this concerning trend, we must purposefully design learning that not only allows active questioning but also encourages it.
Key Points About Curiosity
- Curiosity engages students.
- We need to think about how the school experience impacts curiosity.
- Studies affirm that curiosity leads to better learning.
- The skills developed by fostering curiosity are in high demand.
- Comparing the Effects of Generating Questions, Testing, and Restudying on Students’ Long-Term Recall in University Learning (Mirjam Ebersbach, Maike Feierabend, and Katharina Barzagar B. Nazari in Applied Cognitive Psychology)
- Early Childhood Curiosity and Kindergarten Reading and Math Academic Achievement (Prachi E. Shah, Heidi M. Weeks, Blair Richards, and Niko Kaciroti in Pediatric Research)
- The Class of 2030 and Life-Ready Learning: The Technology Imperative (Microsoft and McKinsey & Company’s Education Practice)
- Curiosity Is as Important as Intelligence (Harvard Business Review)
To foster curiosity in our classrooms, we must make space for student questions and inquiry. Rather than focusing only on correct answers, we must encourage students to be inquisitive and ask the right questions. Once they have generated those questions, it’s equally important to have them seek the answers. Project-based learning and the inquiry learning process are two ideal ways to achieve this.
How can I learn more?
Explore the following AVID Open Access article: Engage Students by Cultivating Their Curiosity.