“Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what’s on the other side?” – George R.R. Martin.
Isn’t that a good question to ponder upon? The irresistible urge of human beings to know more about something they don’t know yet is curiosity. The man is curious to know about the other side of the wall. Similarly, children have this innate quality of being curious about the world around them.
Why is the sky blue?
Why does it rain? And the most famous one- How are babies born? These questions show the normal development of a child’s cognitive abilities. Moreover, answering all these questions is the job of teachers. But have you noticed that a few students in your class won’t even ask these questions in the first place? So is it a bad sign? Unfortunately, yes. As the best residential school in Pune, Riverdale International School stresses the importance of a curious classroom. We know every student has a unique way of looking at the world. However, we also believe one more thing. Curiosity can be cultivated and nurtured.
Before learning curiosity cultivation, let us know why it is important for a learning mind.
Why is curiosity important for learners?
As the best boarding school in Pune, our philosophy is that curiosity is the best form of motivation. When a child is innately curious about learning more, they will be automatically interested in the lesson being taught. Curiosity tends to incite the human mind into finding the absolute solution to a problem. The journey from having a question to finding the answer is a critical situation.
When the learner does find the answer, they are more likely to remember it. And once they remember it, they are more likely to perform better in exams and analyse the questions in front of them. Finding the answer is a sense of achievement that releases happy stress hormones, thus, relaxing the brain. On the contrary, learners who are not curious and are spoon-fed information in a one-hour class do not perform that well. Their brains do not feel a sense of reward which makes their lesson ‘boring’. Therefore, teachers who want their students to excel must cultivate curiosity in their pedagogical methods.
What does it mean to cultivate curiosity in the classroom?
Young students who are in the development stage have a lot of energy. Their brain is quickly exhausted when challenged with new stimuli every day. Hence, this energy must be directed towards activities that increase their learning capabilities. Encouraging curiosity is the stepping stone for better learning. Luckily, our boarding school in Pune has cracked the code to direct this energy at the right pace.
Cultivating curiosity essentially implies using teaching methodologies that enhance the art of questioning. You must teach your students to ask the right questions and focus their energies on asking better questions. Asking the right questions would make them more adaptable and take their problem-solving skills to the next level.
However, many schools follow a rudimentary method of teaching that kills the curiosity in students. Here are a few methods that decrease curiosity among students:
The teachers at our residential school in Pune have found that tests based solely on memory decrease the learning capabilities of students. Then the student is not interested in knowing more about the subject. They resort to cramming answers before an exam to get through. This behaviour repeats in successive tests which proves detrimental over time.
There is generally not enough time to teach the students everything in a half-hour period. Therefore, teachers may overload the students with more facts and figures without making the lesson interesting. Time constraints play a large role in the poor quality of teaching.
Refusing to clear doubts
Students may have doubts every day about the lesson they have been taught. However, the classroom may need a more positive environment that encourages asking questions. Such an environment is detrimental to a student-teacher relationship. The lesson is also unclear to students and they may never ask questions to clear their doubts.
Less emphasis on Practicals
Schools that emphasize theory exams measure a student’s capabilities from marks. On the other hand, practical knowledge about the same subject is given less importance. Therefore, schools must ensure that the practical lectures are also impactful and part of the student’s learning experience.
How does our residential school in Pune encourage curiosity in the classroom?
We have recognised that students thrive in an interactive classroom where doubts and questions are encouraged instead of reprimanded. It may be puzzling to some teachers how they can encourage curiosity and cultivate a habit of asking better questions. Here’s what we do at our boarding school in Pune to encourage curiosity in the classroom:
One of the primary goals of a teacher is to solve all the queries that a student has. While you must encourage doubt-clearing sessions, there is also a need to nurture patience to face even the silliest questions by students. In the best boarding schools in Pune, teachers can pump their students to ask more challenging questions next time so they would learn more. This exercise will build confidence in the student and increase their exploration capacity.
Use The Socratic Method
Socrates was a thinker, philosopher, and teacher in Ancient Greece. He had schooled and tutored many great thinkers of his time. One of them was Plato. Socrates used a highly efficient teaching method that involved asking multiple questions to the students to evoke curiosity.
For example, the teachers at our residential school in Pune start a session about gravity by asking students how everything stays on Earth or how planets move in orbital motion around the sun. This statement induces a sense of wonder in the student to learn more. You can also use the Socratic Method throughout your session while introducing new concepts to the students.
Introduce Real-life Connections To The Chapter
Students will be more curious if they find that the chapters they learn in school are related to the world they live in. In other words, they will be excited to learn the next concept to see where the journey takes them. Therefore, the best boarding schools in Pune connect the dots of a lesson to a real-life event.
You can cite a famous movie to explain Shakespeare and how the hero must have felt. Or you can explain the genius of Newton so that students are excited to learn the three laws of motion. If you teach history, you can explain how the world we live in today was influenced by the past.
Take It Outside The Classroom
Lastly, curiosity is not something that happens in a 6-hour school day. Let it simmer in the student’s mind and you will see that they are back the next day, wanting to learn more. You can give creative homework to them to tickle their brains about the concept you taught them in class. You must also encourage them to ask questions in person, outside the class, specifically for students who are shy to voice their doubts in front of the whole class.
So, let’s encourage and nurture curiosity in every way possible. Let students wonder about what’s behind the wall and teach them the best way to find out! Our residential school in Pune uses the best methods to get a student’s curiosity flowing. Join the Riverdale family if you too, want your child to grow into a curious individual.