Curiosity is the key to meaningful learning
For children to learn something new, they have to be interested. When children are truly motivated and interested, learning becomes much more meaningful. When learning is child-centered, creating meaningfulness isn’t a problem because children are full of questions and wonder. Children want to understand the world they live in and their natural curiosity helps them explore their surroundings. If we simply listen to our children and let their curiosity lead the way, learning can become something magical!
What is curiosity?
MindShift’s article “What’s going on inside the brain of a curious child” reflects on children’s curiosity and how education should be based on it. Jolanda Blackwell, an 8th grade teacher, enjoys her students’ questions and never-ending wonder. And every teacher knows, that behind each question is the child’s own natural curiosity. But what is curiosity? A recent study, cited in MindShift’s article, shows that the chemistry of our brains changes when we are curious. This curiosity helps us learn and preserve information. Curiosity also gives us the feeling of pleasure and helps us remember things. When we are curious, the part of our brain that regulates our memory gets activated. Thus, it would seem that we remember better when our curiosity is piqued.
Boring made interesting
The study also shows that curiosity can help us learn boring stuff as well. This phenomenon is a great help for teachers. For example, if the children are interested in animals, the teacher can make use of this while teaching the children skills such as how to use the scissors. It is much more fun for small children to start learning how to use the scissors if it means getting to cut out your favorite animals and sticking them on a paper. Curiosity is a vital source that should be cherished; it helps us understand this amazing world and learn about it!