Paulo Freire is quoted as saying: “curiosity moves us to action” and is the cornerstone of learning. Intellectual curiosity has been called the “lifeblood of learning” as it is a key part of learning. It is also an essential aspect of critical thinking. Key components to critical thinking are being curious, flexible and keeping an open mind. Curiosity leads to deeper reflection, critical thinking and a search for new understanding or potential solutions. Critical thinking can be seen as a convergent process, whereas curiosity allows for divergent thinking that facilitates flexibility, originality and avoids the pitfalls of tunnel vision. It ultimately leads to innovation. Something our world needs more of; less followers and more leaders of innovative change.
I am a curious cat indeed. I am sure I drive my teachers crazy with my millions of questions. It is just who I am. Constantly thirsty for more learning.
I find myself often modelling curiosity for students when I teach in the hospital clinical setting. I will start the process by posing “I wonder why…” “I wonder if….” I like to tell my students to think of themselves as detectives to uncover what is going on holistically for their patients. I also want them to ask “what do I know and how can this serve me?” and “what don’t I know but need to know?” in order to care for their patients. This allows for internal curiosity about their own learning needs and where gaps may lie. It allows them to acknowledge and recognize the limits yet expansiveness of their knowledge, skills and strengths.
Below is a wonderful 6 minute video describing how we must embrace a new paradigm in education and as teachers become “cultivators of curiosity and inquiry.”
Curiosity feeds creativity…..
Which leads me to my next post….