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Sustaining Curiosity and Improving Learning Ability of Children

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January 21, 2018

Sustaining Curiosity and Improving Learning Ability of Children

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing
–Albert Einstein

The student today is a reservoir of talent, flair, aptitude, proficiency and competency. Needless to say that this reservoir needs to be channelized in the right direction and that can only be possible by a teacher. Now the role of a teacher has undergone a sea change. She is no longer a sage on the stage but a facilitator by the stage. Through her engaging yet innovative teaching techniques, she not only has to ignite a spark of curiosity but also sustain it. Believe me this has become the toughest task for any teacher because from a nursery rhyme to a research paper everything is available at a click of a button. Hence, the option left with the facilitators is to ensure that the class rooms do not have the monotonous lectures but something that can motivate the learners to think beyond the walls of the class rooms.

History is a testimony to the fact that we could have still been living in the age of stones, had curious minds not been there to ask Why and How. Thomas Edison wondered what it would be like to be able to see well in the dark without the use of candles, so he invented the light bulb. If teachers can keep the flame of curiosity burning in children, then pretty much everything else will follow from that.

But it is disheartening to submit that we are stuck with the social engineering more than behavioural mechanisms. We as teachers need to remember that education is not about rote learning, it’s not about perfect facts and figures but it is a beauty in itself to nurture creativity and fuel curiosity. We have to give children freedom of expression without any preconceptions. The less autonomy they are granted, the more mechanical they become. May the enthusiastic participation of the children in their early years not be hampered by instructions like – Do not touch. This is not the way to do. Let me teach you, etc.

The need of the hour is to redefine the definition of failure in such a manner that it doesn’t make the child feel disgraced as it will hamper and block the child’s curiosity forever.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and trying new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths – Walt Disney

The real purpose of education is to let the learners be curious, aware and open while experimenting, and interacting within one’s surroundings. Creating conditions for arousal of curiosity in the classroom will foster authentic motivation from both teachers and students, leading to profound learning.

Atal Tinkering Mission, Interactive Smart boards, Activity oriented teaching, Flipped Classrooms, Cloud based learning, etc are a few initiatives to help students transform their curiosity into inquiry, by facilitating, focusing, challenging, and encouraging students in active engagement. Hence,

+ Let teachers create a new concept of human ecology which celebrates human imagination.
+ Let them work towards a system where a child can dance and sing if he wants to.
+ Let them educate his whole being, instead of suppressing his natural talents.
+ Let them open their doors of perception.

And then as William Blake mentioned, the possibilities are infinite.

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