"I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity." ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Essential Question: What is our role in nurturing curiosity in children?
I've always believed that children were born with innate curiosity, and that this was an extremely imortant gift in creating life-long learners. I've also worried that the means we structure their lives might very well diminish this propensity.
But now I'm looking at my unchallenged assumptions to see the issue in more depth.
I started by reading "Considerations for the Study of Curiosity in Children" by John Keller. It seems that the definition of curiosity isn't as clear as I thought it was. It means different things to different people. For example, is distractibility a component of curiosity, and if so, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Then there is the viewpoint that children aren't born with natural curiosity:
Steven Dutch: Why is there Anti-Intellectualism?
"The curiosity and creativity of children is very superficial . . . it is mostly a low order curiosity concerned with immediate gratification of a particular desire to know, and mostly oriented toward immediate practical results. There is no persuasive evidence that any societies have ever had a high proportion of people who were deeply curious in a systematic, disciplined way.”
~ Steven Dutch
Curiosity and Creativity in Children, Perhaps Not Quite as Sir Ken Robinson Suggests?
Curiosity at the LIM Resources Wiki
So . . . what are your thoughts?