Schell says that curiosity is more important now than it has been at any time in our history because we have the entire field of human knowledge available at the touch of a button which gives curious children a great advantage - they can just "get in and do it". He talks about the "curiosity gap" and asks what can we do to make children more curious? Curiosity of course is one of the PYP attitudes. Jesse Schell said he didn't know of any school that was trying to develop curiosity - as an international educator who has worked in IB schools, I know many. One of the attributes of the IB Learner Profile is inquirer. The aim is that students develop their natural curiosity as they acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. Because they actively enjoy learning, this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
As part of our PYP programme of inquiry we encourage students to become curious about the nature of learning, the world, its peoples and cultures. Schell makes a great point: when you customize learning you are rewarding curiosity. It occurs to me that in our Independent Studies, we are tapping into children's curiosity. We are encouraging them to develop their own passions about a subject that is of interest to them. We have had some interesting ideas so far from our students - one girl has decided she wants to investigate bubble gum!
Independent Studies is a brand new initiative at our school this year. I'll be blogging about it as it unfolds.
Photo Credit: Curious by Broterham, 2005