When the children finally got their hands on the toy, they were more likely to explore its other features if they had seen Bonawitz showing it to adults or playing with it herself. If she had talked to them directly or to another child, they focused more strongly on the squeaker at the expense of exploring the toy for themselves.
These results couldn’t be more important for science, where there is always more to discover. Bonawitz quotes the famous child researchers Jean Piaget, who said that the “principal goal of education” was to create people “who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done”. If we’re going to do that ,we’ll need to find ways of encouraging that natural instinct to investigate, play and explore, rather than suppressing it.