Children are born inquisitive, a reason why they have countless questions to ask and seek answers. A secure child with a familiar teacher/caretaker can reap benefit from this curious nature. Children seek novelty in safe and familiar settings, perhaps this is the reason why they are always exploring around their homes and playschools.
Although children’s curiosity is known to be important for early learning and development, there was never a study conducted on testing its importance against academic achievements.
Researchers at the University of Michigan in the US hypothesized that greater curiosity would be associated with greater kindergarten academic achievement in reading and math.
The researchers measured curiosity based on a behavioral questionnaire from parents and assessed reading and math among kindergartners. Data from 6,200 children was analyzed for the study. “Curiosity is characterized by the joy of discovery and the desire for exploration and is characterized by the motivation to seek answers to the unknown,” said lead researcher Prachi Shah, an assistant research scientist at University of Michigan.
She added, “Our results suggest that while higher curiosity is associated with higher academic achievement in all children, the association of curiosity with academic achievement is greater in children with low socioeconomic status.” This proves that irrespective of economic background, children with higher curiosity fared well.
Thus, it is essential to promote curiosity among children, especially those from environments of economic disadvantage. When it comes to nurturing curiosity, the quality of the early environment matters, researchers said.
1) Provide a stimulating environment: Take help from education toys and books to promote curiosity.
2) Encourage questions: No question is silly or stupid. Have the patience to answer them or seek answers if you are not able to come up with something substantial.
3) Encourage looking for answers: You can encourage your child to use various tools to find an answer to their curious questions.
4) Reward effort: Once your child has embarked on his journey to find answers to his questions, reward him so that he’s encouraged to repeat this behavior.