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5 Ways To Use Student Curiosity For Better Learning

While children are naturally inquisitive, classrooms often fall short of nurturing that curiosity. Instead of a constant stream of “why” and “how,” lessons can become monotonous, focused solely on completing the syllabus. This stifles the organic curiosity that fuels a child’s desire to understand the world around them.

These questions act as a potent reminder that every scientific breakthrough, and every artistic innovation, stems from the courage to ask “why” and “how.” By fostering a classroom environment that encourages curiosity, we can tap into this natural drive to learn. Here are some ways to transform these inquisitive sparks into a flame of deeper understanding:

Motivate students to explore:

Ditching rigid ideas about how students “should” learn unlocks a world of possibilities. A one-size-fits-all approach can stifle curiosity and engagement. Instead, by empowering students to construct their own understanding of the subject matter, teachers can cultivate a culture of inquiry and student retention. Here are some examples to spark this transformation:

Project-based learning: This approach lets students delve deeper into topics that interest them. They can research, collaborate, and present their findings, fostering ownership of their learning journey.

Open-ended questions: Move beyond questions with one right answer. Encourage students to explore various perspectives and delve into the “why” and “how” through inquiry-based learning.

Student-led discussions: Instead of teacher-centered lectures, facilitate student-led discussions. This fosters critical thinking, and communication skills, and allows students to build upon each other’s understanding.

Teachers should devise strategies that enable students to investigate the reasoning behind the sorting, fostering a deeper understanding of the concept without explicitly stating the learning objective like Think-Pair-Share” with sorting tasks, sorting puzzles, and inquiry-based sorting activities.

Encourage kids to be innovative:

Giving students some intellectual duties might help them develop into independent learners. Developing creative approaches supports students’ learning as they think about the most effective ways to share information with others, gives instructors access to extra resources, and aids in the assessment of students’ understanding of the subject matter.

Thus, whenever you can, stand and get your children’s perspective on how the subject should be approached. Before you even begin teaching the kids, get them to speculate and think about the subject. In this manner, both you and them learn about their level of comprehension of the subject. Now that you know, you can educate them appropriately and improve their understanding of history in a way that they won’t forget.

Encourage kids to ask “Why?”

Students are piqued when it comes to interest by the question, not the solution. The destination is worthwhile and will honor a student’s diligence. But the process makes the outcome more thrilling and fulfilling, and what makes it more impactful is curiosity. To encourage that, you could introduce a few activities like setting up a traffic light system. No matter how difficult the road may be, curiosity is what spurs a student to go on the journey and keeps them going.

According to cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham’s book “Why Don’t Students Like School?” putting solutions first actually restricts a student’s innate interest. Ask open-ended questions that compel students to look for their answers—questions that can’t be answered with a simple affirmative or negative—to keep them interested and involved.

Provide New Content in Bits:

Don’t risk compressing your student’s curiosity with too much information now that you’ve aroused it. Studies reveal that online learners require a minimum of two minutes to assimilate the knowledge they have acquired, for every 10 minutes of instructional time. 

A mental and physical vacation allows the body and brain to rejuvenate, making them more receptive to new information. Combat information overload and maintain student attention by breaking down presentations into digestible chunks. Aim for two or three key ideas delivered in 10-minute segments. Some EdTech tools that can help with the above are micro-learning platforms like Edmodo and Nearpod. Games like Kahoot! are also popular for better learning. 

Give students the freedom to choose:

The concept of choice is a crucial component that unlocks student involvement and curiosity. Giving students more autonomy can improve their engagement with the learning process. Giving students the freedom to decide for themselves how to approach challenges or look for information makes them more engaged learners. This might resemble a choice board where students are given a 3 × 3 grid of possibilities to investigate a topic and are asked to fill in any three that form a row. It could also entail giving students the option to pick one or more independent variables to research during a scientific project. Alternatively, you may make a Hyperdoc containing authorized research sites and let students choose the ones that catch their eye. 

Final Thoughts

By embracing these changes in education, we can make our classrooms into vibrant hubs of creativity and inquiry. By doing this, educators not only improve their own educational experience but also open doors for the following generation of creatives, thinkers, and curious minds. Ultimately, curious individuals are the ones that bring about change in the world. 

With our blog session, Oasis International School, one of the most esteemed schools in Bangalore, keeps students informed about education, learning, and self-improvement. 

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Rocktfuel Agency

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