“Where does the sun go when its dark?”, “Why do sheep and cows sleep standing up?”, “Is time travel really possible?”, “What if the Earth stopped rotating?”, “What is the colour of the mirror?”….. Questions…..Questions…..Questions……
Children of every age have many such questions. The question is “are these questions really worth or make any sense or they even important?” the answer is “YES !!!” Every question the child asks and every answer he/she needs to know is important and worth. Eagerness to know more and questions like “why?”, “what?”, “how?”, “when?”, “where?”, “which?” etc are popularly known as CURIOSITY. The quality of having curiosity about the surrounding is known as inquisitiveness. Curious minds always ask questions and keep searching for answers. The way our body needs an exercise to remain fit, healthy and strong, similarly the mind and brain too need a mental exercise through curiosity.
As an educator it’s our duty to make our learners curious about the subject we teach and make it more interesting and give them better learning experience. Curiosity needs to be inculcated. Curiosity needs to be maintained. Curiosity needs to be sufficed. Remember CURIOSITY CAN NOT BE TAUGHT, IT CAN BE ILLUMINATED AND NURTURED. We need to stimulate curiosity, nurture curiosity and cultivate curiosity.
Curiosity is a powerful mindset which helps students to learn and innovate. It has a power to prevent stagnancy. An educator must know WHY behind asking WHY? It helps students to resolve uncertainty and explain the unexpected. It makes children observant and explore.
Many kids are naturally curious and are always actively looking to explore and discover new things. However, I’m sure you know more than one kid who hasn’t developed this instinct to the same degree and it becomes their parents and educators’ role to identify this issue and help them nurture their curiosity.
ü Change the routine. It is important to have a daily routine but occasional change in their daily habits can stimulate their brain and provoke them to think differently and encourage curiosity. It can be as simple as changing their partner.
ü Encourage kids to ask more. If they ask you one question, add extra information while explaining the answer which will lead to another question. Curiosity can lead to more curiosity.
ü Pick students’ brain by asking them different questions. Make them think about different possible answers and solutions to the problems.
ü Encourage children to get curious about themselves. Let them question themselves with WHY? They will understand more and know more about self.
ü Use more “what ifs?” These two simple words, but when combined together they open up doors to immense possibilities. A simple “what if” question at the beginning of a lesson will facilitate curiosity and encourage students to stretch their imagination and think beyond the usual.
ü Learn their interests Take a little time to figure out what your students are interested in. You can incorporate their interests into your lessons to build engagement. This integration will help to nurture the student’s curiosity and improve their confidence in their thought process, encouraging them to explore and learn more.
ü Spice up your classroom Add a little mystery and use props to make the classroom more interesting. Instead of writing down the topic heading, conduct an experiment, play a game or act out a character. These activities will help create suspense and get your students curious and excited to learn more. Use puzzles, jigsaws and even a treasure hunt as a closure activity to build curiosity for the next day’s lesson.
ü Give ‘curious’ projects Post some interesting facts on your bulletin board or frame a list of questions and encourage students to find the answers to them. Assign a project that may require them to research something different. This can help enhance the student’s curiosity in the actual lesson.
ü Focus on questions, not answers. Questions are an excellent indicator of curiosity. Give points for questions—quantity, quality, refinement, etc. The questions are not only evidence and practice of curiosity but can be used as an assessment tool as well. The quality of a question not only reveals curiosity, but background knowledge, literacy level, confidence, student engagement, and more.
ü Last but not the least
Reward curiosity. If you want a plant to grow, you feed it. Curiosity is the same.
Radcliffe School, Pune