Why 2018 needs to be the year of curiosity

Over Christmas I had a grandfather’s delight of reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to my grandson. The story follows the adventures of a girl transitioning from childhood into a never-seen-before world. Alice talks about her experiences in this new environment as ‘curioser and curioser’.

It got me thinking about the importance of curiosity in education. As I was reading the book, I began to see it in the context of the slow shift from industrial to contemporary schooling. Many schools have made their way down the rabbit role in search of new experiences for students. This brings with it new challenges. The alternative though is that we continue along the path of the familiar and the ordinary.

American biochemist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Berg (1980) said ‘…I realise that nurturing curiosity and the instinct to seek solutions are perhaps the most important contributions education can make.’

As we know the demands on teachers and the expectations on schools today leaves little room for curiosity and exploration to flourish. Yet if we don’t transform schooling, then our students will not have the capacity to seek solutions in new and creative ways.

That’s why we’ve chosen to focus this year on curiosity and it will give us a springboard for future years. To do that requires open hearts, open minds and a commitment to creating new mindsets and new realities for schooling in today’s world. This is the essence of educational transformation. While that may be daunting for teachers and leaders, the good news is that we go down the rabbit hole armed with good theory and evidence about what works.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if all schools could open up new and exciting worlds for every learner, every day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2 thoughts on “Why 2018 needs to be the year of curiosity

  1. We must be reading the same kinds of books to our grandchildren. I too am focusing on the power of curiosity and inquisitiveness and the need to make sure that what ever we do in our schools and in our individual and collaborative spaces is not squashing curiosity. Some research I have just just read articulates this by calling it having a ” hungry mind” and goes so far as to suggest that ” having a hungry mind has been shown to be a core determinant of academic achievement, rivaling the prediction power of IQ” from “Schools are missing what matters about learning” accessed via twitter 12/2/2018

    As I watch my own grandson learning to coordinate the many skills required to roll and crawl I can see his innate curiosity of ” what if I try this” – it is a very powerful reminder that it is through curiosity and trial and error that all learning takes place.

    Greg, You might like this quote I was given just after a school assembly last week where I had spoke about the importance of cultivating curiosity

    “Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat, I say only the cat died nobly
    ( Arnold Edinborough)

    PS I am not a cat person!

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