Let's not teach it out of them.

April 24, 2019

Without curiosity, real learning, the joyful kind, doesn’t happen. Without the feeling of wonder and a call to investigation, comprehension of any subject becomes difficult. It’s like eating when you aren’t hungry - consuming what and when others tell you so that there is no room to develop an awareness about what you like or what makes you feel good.

 

Luckily, when it comes to children, they are implicitly curious. We need only pay attention to what they want to investigate.

 

Let’s loosen our agenda about what we think needs to be taught and reframe it to include a collaboration between adults and children.

 

In this approach teachers are encouraged to ask questions, recognize inspiration, and bring genuine curiosity to the classroom. Here, teachers are not overwhelmed with test-measured academic directives. More than lessons, we create playful, kind learning environments. Curriculum is project-based, collaborative, and children have agency in the information presented to them.

 

We need diversity in thought and experience to better shape our perception of the world. We need imagination that shrugs at impossibility and the kind of curiosity that perceives problems as challenges. Listening to kids, treating them like the creative wonders they are, is really smart. A child’s brand of intelligence is necessary for the complex challenges unfolding in our lives. What children wonder about is important, even when we don’t understand why. Let’s not teach it out of them.

 

 

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