Curiosity as a natural learning tool

Syazuin Sazali
Syazuin Sazali
28 Jun 2022 10:42pm
Curiosity is an aspect of intrinsic motivation that has a great potential to enhance the process of learning. (123rf)
Curiosity is an aspect of intrinsic motivation that has a great potential to enhance the process of learning. (123rf)
Think about the last time you read a book, watched a movie, explored a new place, or engaged in a conversation that sparked your curiosity.

Did you perk up? Remain focused and alert? When something sparks your curiosity, your motivation fires up!

Embracing curiosity is an important part of learning. In fact, curiosity is the key to learning.

When it comes to education, curiosity is an aspect of intrinsic motivation that has a great potential to enhance the process of learning.

Studies show that when you are curious about a subject, you are much more likely to remember information you learned about that subject.

I, for instance, just came back from a short break from an island. It was my first time exploring the area.

When I was planning my journey, I can feel the rush and excitement going through my veins. I can’t wait to reach the island and explore all the activities available.

When you explore a place, you travel around it and find out what it has to offer. All the gory details.

The tour guide will only be there to assist and guide you through; for added information and safety reasons.

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They are there to share their own experience and knowledge and filling in that gap of uncertainty you may have as you adjust and adapt. Especially, if it is your first or new experience.

The emotions and knowledge you gained from the exploration is developed on your own.

You make it happen. You allow it to happen and thus bring something back from that whole enchanting experience.

The discovery, lesson, reflection and more. Same goes with the process of learning.

Both formal and informal; in educational institutions via classes or on your own. Nevertheless, some of you might still prefer the age-old spoon-feeding method.

You feel that “curiosity killed the cat” and being inquisitive can be dangerous. That’s where the educator’s role comes in.

Until you are willing to let this go, there is no way for you to fully benefit from your learning process while in university in order to apply it in your daily life or working experience later on.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” is the best proverb to remember here.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Yes, on the contrary, teach yourself to ask critical thinking questions.

The nature of development and how you build on your next success is by extending on others’ as well as your own process of learning.

This will improve your engagement with your educator and prepare you for future studies and employment.

I think, we in Malaysia, have known this fact for a very long time but is having a hard time manifesting this in lessons and classrooms.

Therefore, how can educators enhance interest and curiosity in learners? Encouraging questions is an absolute must.

Design classes where you avoid giving dry lectures and let your students do all the asking.

“My students don’t even know what kind of questions to ask.” Then, try posing questions for them to answer either individually or in a group.

Make room for unstructured questions by making time to experiment with/discuss/explore questions together.

This way, they will tend to ask more higher-level thinking questions, be enthusiastic, and mentally present in class.

Since your mind and brain is like a muscle which becomes powerful through continuous exercise, the mental exercise caused by curiosity makes your mind stronger and stronger.

It promotes development in a way that allows us to be observant of ideas while gaining new knowledge.

Everything is a wonder. We humans are curious by nature. And that is why, learning by inciting curiosity is vital in our education system.

Continuously use that same nurturing method in your studies and personal growth.

Make curiosity your friend.

Oh, curiosity, my friend. I treasure you. I appreciate you, but of course I’m going to create healthy boundaries between us two.

SYAZUIN SAZALI is a certified English language and soft skills coach. She aims to continuously advocate for progressive growth in education. Linkedin & Instagram: @syazuinsazali, Email: [email protected]

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