Over the past year the word Curiosity has been shared through a variety of media. It is not a new word which has just been introduced and the meaning has not changed. The Oxford English Dictionary (2017) states ‘A strong desire to know or learn something’
Is this not what we all do when we are learning something new, or when we attend training or even read new articles or books...we strive to learn something new where we can use? … This impacts our future life...
One of the Characteristics of Effective learning is creativity and critical thinking and with children being curious they will endeavour to be able to show how they are thinking and how creative they are. Using our brains is so important.
Several pioneers, theorists and approaches from the earliest of years have constantly used the word Curiosity in their ethos. Here are just a few to help us along the way on why we need children to develop and learn through their Curiosity.
REGGIO values children as being strong and capable and insists on children being resilient. So important for their emotional well being. We can promote this through the richness of ‘Awe and Wonder’. Every child is able to bring with them a deep innate drive of Curiosity and this determines their interest to understand the surrounding world.
MONTESSORI believed we as practitioners should focus on the children and not the day to day planning. It is up to us to ask the questions, be able to get children to think for themselves, be able to investigate and discover their Curiosity and creativity which they were born with.
We are the facilitators... WE ARE THE SOURCE in which children learn...FACT!
STEINER believed through direction and instruction children are not able to experience and learn but if children learn to watch us as their role models, they will use imitation and example to grow their development. Through this children will become enthusiastic, motivated and highly active learners.
FROEBEL believed ‘play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the expression of what is in a child’s soul’. His approach was one of the first to express children learning in Early Years to the basis for a solid foundation for their education in later life. Children should be able to choose, explore, create and imagine using their innate Curiosity which surrounds them in everyday life. We as the practitioners needs to give them the experiences to use their critical thinking skills.
ISAACS was inspired by the resources we provide children to experience which were intended to stimulate children’s powers of inquiries and Curiosity, thus then being able to learn. The need for children to be able to be emotionally secure through their engagement of learning gave children the chance to feel at ease, confident and secure. So important for mindfulness.
WALLAS suggests when children are being creative and using their Curiosity in their experiences they develop through different stages; Preparation, Simmering and Illumination.
This is just a snap shot, there are many others who are saying similar.
With each stage children can be curious to learn something new and be engaged in their invitations to play provided by us…the Early Years practitioner.
We need to encourage children to use their brains by being CURIOUS and thinking for themselves.
Think of children’s brains as a muscle… It will waste away without use.
It is up to us to inspire and provoke learning through igniting their Curiosity.
We should be sharing our ideas with each other to encourage children in today’s society to become well developed little people ready for the outside world.
Again, just to confirm Curiosity is not a new word. It is not a new initiative either.
But one thing we should all know and be sure IT IS the way forward. So come lets get together and spark the Curiosity in children's and even ours too.
Being creative and critical thinkers is one of the players in Characteristics of Effective Learning. Curiosity enhances this.
One thing we can be sure of and we must remember