Stages of Curiosity

Where curiosity comes from isn’t entirely clear. That’s probably because there is no single source for it any more than there is a single source for entertainment, anxiety, or confidence. There are strategies to promote curiosity in the classroom—even those that consider how the brain works. There is also no single “look” for curiosity. The things teachers look for as indicators of “engagement”–waving hands in the air, locked eye contact, or good grades on tests—may not be the result of curiosity at all. What are indicators of curiosity? Below we take a look at the idea. Also, note that these indicators don’t always represent curiosity and engagement—could be thoughtless habit or external coercion. In the same way, behaviors indicating lower levels of curiosity don’t necessarily mean the student is disengaged and uncurious. The lesson design could be confusing, or the materials used could be poorly-written, above their reading level, or otherwise misleading. For this reason (and others), teachers are always encouraged to take a broad and holistic view of each student that incorporates habits over time, personality, and the ebbs and flow of growing up! Also, certain learner “needs” at one stage may also exist at another. These are merely suggestions that can characterize most closely a student’s “need to know.”


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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