Teachers’ and Parents’ Conceptions of Children’s Curiosity and Exploration

Although curiosity is a characteristic often observed in young children, it has not received much academic interest in recent years. Among its many dimensions, the epistemic nature of curiosity, or the quest for knowledge, deserves attention. To explore the potential application of ‘epistemic curiosity’, it is important to understand how lay conceptions complement theoretical conceptualizations. As people who are significant in organizing children’s environment, how teachers and parents view curiosity is essential to how they will respond to the manifestation of this characteristic in children. A questionnaire was developed to examine teachers’ and parents’ conception of children’s curiosity and exploratory behavior and whether they value this characteristic. The participants of this study were preschool teachers and parents with a preschool-age child. The findings indicated that the participants have a positive view toward curiosity and exploration and that teachers are more willing than parents to encourage this characteristic in young children. A factor analysis indicated that teachers’ and parents’ conceptualization of curiosity is multi-dimensional, showing some similarities with theoretical conceptualization.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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