Curiosity is a trait that all of us are born with and it is most prominent and powerful during our earliest years of living. Yes, curiosity is a trait that does need to be cultivated within most children as it is a trait that most of us are simply born with – it is innate. As adults, you may be asking yourself, “ Why were we, as children, brimming with curiosity but why does that burning desire to know, to explore fade as we grow older?”
This is simply because, as we grow older, we find ourselves having experienced many different things, situations, tastes, feelings, and many more. Therefore, as we get older, we also grow familiar to the world around us which leaves little room for curiosity to take place. As children, we often perceive our surroundings as something entirely new and different as we have yet to experience the world and its entirety.
”The world of a young child is full of new foods to taste, new people to meet, new games to play, words to understand, places to visit, and concepts to master. The infant and toddler will touch, taste, smell, climb over, poke at, take apart, watch, listen, and learn more than at any other time in life. It is, simply, how we learn.Dr. Bruce D. Perryin Why Young Children Are Curious
The importance of curiosity in a child’s growth shows how learning experiences in preschools can be designed to guide children’s curiosity in a way that benefits their cognitive, social, and emotional development. In early childhood education, teachers play a role in facilitating curiosity so that the children are able to maximize their inner desire and need for exploration and discovery in a safe and supportive environment.
This is why it is crucial for preschool teachers to foster a learning environment within their classrooms that ensures children’s safety and familiarity but also engaging through novel and stimulating activities and experiences. This can be quite the challenge as teachers have their own set of limitations when it comes to ensuring each and every child’s expectations are met through the teaching and learning process.
Another challenge that preschool teachers face in supporting children’s curiosity in the classroom is the individual styles of exploration that proves how each child has different ways of expressing their curiosity. This can be an interesting learning curve for the teachers but also a worrying one as children’s curiosity are the number one reason for accidents and mishaps to happen in preschools which is why safety is extremely important when allowing children to freely explore their curiosity
This can be an interesting learning curve for the teachers but also a worrying one as children’s curiosity are the number one reason for accidents and mishaps to happen in preschools which is why safety is extremely important when allowing children to freely explore their curiosity
One of the many ways preschool teachers can hone children’s curiosity in learning is through structuring classroom activities and guiding learning experiences to incorporate adult supervision within children’s independent exploration and discovery. Through structure and guidance, children are able to truly engage and enjoy self-initiated learning that are entirely driven by their curiosity.
This is how the Alfa and Friends’ Little Scientists programme supports children’s curiosity through child-centered scientific activities and experiments that are safe and stimulating at the same time – there are many methods in making sure that structure and guidance still exist while allowing children to learn and explore on their own. Here are 7 ways the Little Scientists programme supports children’s curiosity within the preschool classroom which can be practised in all areas of the preschool curriculum: