As a Designated Early Childhood Educator with the Full Day Kindergarten program, I have often observed my students with piqued curiosity. Whether they are experimenting with paints at the art table, building structures out of blocks, asking questions of their peers or flipping through a book, they are utilizing their curiosity to investigate the world around themselves.
Curiosity is the spark that kindles our passion, the potter that shapes the Earth, the guiding star we follow when we are lost, the nebula in which ideas are born. It is the driving force behind science, medicine, technology, literature, art, music – the very heart of humanity and the force that keeps us looking towards the future.
When a student exhibits curiosity, they are beginning to ask questions about the universe, search for their own answers and embrace the very core of education; they are observing action and reaction; they are becoming scientists, philosophers and artists.
As educators, it is our role to nurture this curiosity within our students, to encourage them to ask questions, provide them with the tools to discover the answers and motivate them to see their inquiries to a conclusion, despite the “mistakes” they may make along the way.
This support may be as simple as observing the process from a distance, providing resources or acknowledging that their efforts are worthwhile. It is through our support that we can help students succeed and shape the leaders, inventors, scientists and artists of tomorrow.
Next time you observe a student in your classroom stoking his/her curiously through self-motivated investigation, pause for a moment and consider what lessons that student might be learning from that experience, then ask yourself, “What can I do to help them see it through?”
As the great historian, biographer, and essayist Lucius Plutarch once said, “A mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
Whose fire will you kindle today?