Children are naturally curious beings. This is evident in their everyday questions and can be observed in their interactions with toys and peers. A child is most engaged when they are learning about something of interest. Children reap the benefits when the school environment leaves room for curiosity and experimentation. Parents often gravitate towards challenging educational programs that they feel will best prepare young students for later classroom life. However, this practice, especially applied in a kindergarten setting, can constrain curiosity to the point that the zest for learning is diminished.
The Merits of an Engaging Classroom
To a young person, learning is an adventure. There are constant questions and millions of new experiences that need to be discovered. Books can open doorways into novel ideas and creative play, and peer interactions can spark developmental opportunities that exceed any past boundary.
An engaging classroom holds open-ended toys that encourage imaginative interactions with teachers and peers. Exploration and discovery are encouraged, and hands-on learning strategies are incorporated into the core curriculum. In the right environment, the classroom schedule holds room for children to explore their own questions in both individual and group settings. In contrast, a strict schedule can confine curiosity and keep teachers more tuned into the clock than their students.
Moving through School with Confidence
In an engaging classroom, pupils have the opportunity to experience joy in each discovery. These feelings of satisfaction spur the learner to seek more knowledge, and the cycle continues to grow and expand. A 2006 study performed under the direction of Derek Bok exposed many of the merits that early education can have on creating college attendees who are keen on exploration and invention. In summary, the study holds that an average pupil will recollect a didactic lecture for a short time after class ends, while the interests, cognitive skills, and values acquired through interaction will remain much longer.
Kindergarten is the perfect opportunity to set the pace for a curiosity-filled learning experience. As children find more and more success in satiating their curiosity, they are led to further explore the academic world with confidence.
Sharing the Discovery
The positive reinforcement that comes from pupil interaction in a classroom setting is well documented and held as the standard for the academic canons of today. A smaller classroom setting, especially throughout the early education years, allows for each learner to be an active part of the group. Larger settings, however, can stifle curiosity because the engagement between teacher and child is less consistent.
The Ill Effects of Discouraged Curiosity
Throughout their school career, a student that’s not excited about learning becomes harder to teach. Research shows that those pupils who have been stifled in the past hold fewer friends and are slow to join in social situations. These learners also read fewer books on average, and become difficult to impact because of their lack of enthusiasm for knowledge and enlightenment.
Parents should thoroughly investigate any kindergarten curriculum and setting to ensure that a strong focus is kept on invention and curiosity. This forethought will set the stage for academic success well into the college years.