How to encourage and foster curiosity in students?

Encouraging and fostering curiosity in students is of vital importance. Without the two it becomes difficult for a teacher to teach and for a student to learn.

Formal teaching has the potential to either promote or diminish curiosity to learn. Teachers need to be aware of this and

• encourage students to frame up or recognize challenges for themselves, to clarify the problems or challenges they face. Encouraging students to predict or anticipate an idea or outcome and then see that their prediction or anticipation is incorrect can elicit curiosity.

• use a range of questioning techniques, encouraging students to ask open-ended questions without worrying so much about what others think, to use questions to guide their learning and to modify question sequences as the learning proceeds, encourage risk-taking and a valuing of individual worth, encourage students to be curious and ask questions .

• help students believe that they can be successful.

• provide access to a range of information bases that can be used on a personal interest basis, to pursue enquiries that attract their attention.

• give students the opportunity to direct their own learning and to teach themselves.

• validate the display of curiosity. Secondary level teachers may need to examine the features of teenage curiosity. These students need to see that curiosity helps them achieve personal goals more easily and that teachers value it.

• demonstrate a practical valuing of curiosity in their teaching.

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There are new and different ways by which a student’s curiosity can be encouraged and fostered. No list can become the ultimate list of ‘how to encourage and foster curiosity in students’. It is a process that continues. Trial and error method is one which is used to come to a conclusion as to how to achieve this goal. Above are a few tested ways, an addition to which is always open.

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