When a child is being educated, they need to do more than just memorise facts and reiterate the thoughts and findings of those who came before them. Rather, throughout their schooling, they need to be able to continue to explore the natural curiosity that is present in all children. One challenge that all instructors face in the world today is figuring out ways to ignite and flame the spirit of inquiry in children.
As one of the top international schools in Singapore, it is our goal to implement a curriculum that allows children to utilise critical thinking skills, to participate in classroom discussions and to test their theories in a hands-on learning environment.
Why Educators Should Encourage Children to be Inquisitive
Children are born curious. This is why newborns are constantly searching the room as they take in their new surroundings, or why infants crawl around to the most well-hidden corners to find out what is there. Toddlers, in particular, are curious creatures; who seem to find whatever trouble they possibly can on their adventures. Curiosity is natural, but it is often tempered by adults who want children to be well-mannered, well-behaved and well-controlled.
Educators, however, have to work harder than ever to ensure that the spirit of inquiry stays alive and well in children within the classroom setting. This is because curiosity is the driving force behind learning. A curious child will ask questions, come up with their own solutions and seek to test the results to find out if their idea is the right one. A curious child will learn to love learning, and will ultimately become a life-long learner.
Teachers and administrators need to find unique ways to motivate children so that they will continue to want to be curious. Far too many students today are focusing on what needs to be done simply to pass their exams and move on to the next level. They are not being encouraged to explore subjects for the sake of exploring, or to ask questions just to gain new insight or knowledge. By allowing and encouraging students to be inquisitive, educators are giving them an opportunity to develop life-long skills, such as observation, investigation, experimentation and analysis.
Knowing that children need to be inquisitive and that they sometimes need motivating to maintain their natural curiosity is the first step. The next step is actively pursuing it.
How to Keep the Spirit of Inquiry Alive in Children
Administrators, teachers and instructors can all play an active role in keeping the spirit of inquiry alive in children. These tips can help teachers motivate students to continue to be curious:
Theoretical knowledge has its purposes, but it should not be the only thing offered to students within the classroom setting. Rather, supplement theoretical knowledge with lessons on how this knowledge is applicable to the lives of children in the modern world. By proving to children that this acquired knowledge applies to them, you will encourage them to ask questions and instil in them a drive to learn more.
Include hands-on activities in every subject areas. It is during these interactive and engaging learning sessions that students start to see how their newfound knowledge applies. By doing, rather than simply seeing, they can ask questions or discover solutions. They have the opportunity to test their own theories within the classroom setting.
Add more free play to the curriculum programme. Over the year, free play has been discounted as frivolous and a waste of time. However, this was a mistake. Free play is actually when children are primed for learning. They put their natural curiosity to use in social situations, and they must use their own skills to navigate the structures established by the other children during playtime.
Create a dynamic learning environment in which children feel both comfortable and respected. Group work and discussion time should be included in the curriculum programme for each subject.
Parents and students who are looking for a learning environment that emphasises critical thinking and problem solving will be pleased with the Singapore-based international schools available. As the top IB PYP, IGCSE and CBSE school in Singapore, Global Indian International School provides its students with choice of international curricula and an inquire based learning approach, that encourages their natural curiosity and insists that they build upon that curiosity throughout their education and into their professional careers.
For more information on how the spirit of inquiry is alive at GIIS Singapore, contact us today.