Intellectual curiosity is a deep and persistent ‘need to know’ feeling that propels you to ask questions and seek answers. It means never having to say “I don’t know” about a topic you’ve found interesting. Intellectual curiosity is important for the advancement of society; a way forward in which we don’t do something stupid to end our existence. It is the basis for how we improve and grow as a species.
How can teachers develop intellectual curiosity in students? Model, model, model intellectual curiosity themselves; show an interest in what they are teaching and never be afraid to admit they don’t know all the answers. Intellectual curiosity can be sparked simply by asking students thought provoking questions and not giving the answers. Going far beyond test prep and encouraging more questions can be the beginning of intellectual curiosity.
Parents can nurture intellectual curiosity in their children. They can be patient when their children are young and always asking ‘why’. Never discourage their inquisitive nature; rather nurture it by showing an interest in their passions. Parents can provide a wide array of resources to assist their children in seeking answers to their questions. It doesn’t have to be expensive; it may require a time and interest commitment on their part.
Why do some people lose their intellectual curiosity? Sometimes children lose their intellectual curiosity because of factors beyond their own control; an inability to focus, to stay on task or lack of encouragement to explore new things. A person’s response to early failures or criticism from others can extinguish the spark of intellectual curiosity.
There are personal benefits to increasing intellectual curiosity. It encourages lifelong learning which not only benefits ourselves but those around us as well; whether they are our children, students or friends. Intellectual curiosity can increase our chances (not necessarily insure) of success in life as we integrate what we learn into our everyday life. As students, academic achievement is most often preceded by intellectual curiosity. A transcript of this chat may be found at Storify.
Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1 PM NZDT/11 AM AEDT/Midnight UK to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.
About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime advocate for gifted children and also blogs at Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wonder Day Project (YouTube 1:55)
Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.