Nurturing curiosity in children
We have all faced many questions from our kids like how was I born or how does the fan work or why we cannot fly while the birds can.With these very interesting questions my mind pondered…at what age the child starts questioning or being curious / inquisitive? I realized that babies are born curious with the inner drive to understand how the world around them works. Babies have a strong desire to explore and learn. The new born baby explores how to satiate his hunger and as he grows he explores sounds, his toys, his body, voices of adults, different objects, the sky and stars, and what not. Curiosity is the strong desire to know or learn something.
As teachers and parents, we give a spark to this innate desire to learn. The more curious the child is, the better he learns.
It is very rightly said –
‘The future belongs to the curious. The ones, who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out.’
The internet we use, the designer clothes we wear, our multi-purpose smart phones, cars, planes, robots, rockets were all created by some curious minds. What would have been our lives if people were not curious or creative. We learn, grow and improve with curiosity.
Should learning be limited to class room instruction only or should we give opportunity to young and curious minds to learn through various activities, games and experiences inside and outside the classroom.
The beautiful lines for preschooler given below challenge us to think on our role as an educator-
The following steps taken by the educator may promote children to be better learners –
1. Facilitating Learning with Technology
2. Patient listening to the child.
3. Recognizing his achievements with verbal praises and other rewards.
4. Adding fun to learning by using a variety of teaching methodologies like Quiz, Panel Discussions/ Role Play or games, circle time, etc.
5. Teaching with enthusiasm, a smile and positive attitude.
6. Remembering that words are the tools of teachers and words have the power to hurt and to heal.
7. Catering to the different learning styles and learning pace.
8. Encouraging the children to ask questions and expressing their opinions and ideas.
9. Promoting critical thinking, creative thinking, problem solving, collaborative learning and team working skills.
10. Engaging the learner in the learning process.
11. Creating safe, secure and supportive class-room where student feels confident to clear his doubts.
12. Respecting uniqueness of children.
13. Focusing on the strengths of the child.
14. Sharing your own enthusiasm for learning.
15. Letting children know that beyond the class-room also they can learn.
16. One size fits all should change in our education system.
Our classroom structures and curriculum need change in this scenario of globalization and digital age. Class leaders need to be recognized in better ways for their hard work and commitment.
Meenu Bhargava is a Post Graduate in Psychology from Jodhpur University. She has a rich experience of 30 years in the field of Counseling and training. She is a freelance practitioner and is involved in teacher training, parenting seminars and student workshops. Her clients are from play schools to reputed senior secondary schools and colleges across India.
She has contributed to the society and schools with her counseling programmes, career fairs and psychometric assessments. She believes that the best quality of a teacher is her willingness to learn from all be it children, books or technology. Meenu runs her own Counseling Centre at Kaushambi( Ghaziabad)