Friday, June 15, 2012

Benefits to Encouraging Curiosity

Did you know that curiosity can have a profound impact on academics and even intelligence? This is probably not a huge surprise if you think about how curiosity can lend to seeking out new information, pursuing the answer or learning a new task. 

A recent analysis of research gathered data from about 200 studies and included a total of 50,000 students. This analysis, found in the journal Perspectives in Psychological Science, showed that when curiosity is accompanied by conscientiousness, it can have as great of an impact on performance as intelligence does. Further, conscientiousness and curiosity are as important as intelligence in getting good grades (Education News, 2011). 

We often view children as naturally curious from a young age—opening cabinet doors to peer at what is inside; climbing on chairs to see what is on the counter top; even digging through mud, sand or dirt to see what they might find beneath the surface. 

The curiosity that children naturally possess can be supported while keeping safety in mind. One cabinet in the kitchen can be dedicated to a variety of toys or containers. Items can be rotated in and out to keep that sense of curiosity and exploration alive. What about filling a large container with dirt for the day? By adding water scientific exploration comes into play, showing changes that happen in texture. Adding measuring cups adds math into the equation!  Finally, young and older children alike can enjoy doing their own research on their favorite subject by visiting museums or the local library.    

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