Curiosity and Further Learning

I have been reading the book Socratic Circles by Matt Copeland, in preparation for workshops through Project: Preschool. I came across this quote, which made me think:

Unintentionally, we teach students at an early age that having questions suggests a lack of understanding, rather than suggesting that having questions reveals a curiosity for further learning. (Copeland, 50)

This quote makes me think about this attitude that we have: deep knowledge about a particular subject can only be achieved by specialists, and specialists are the only ones that can speak to or about a particular subject. Deep knowledge about a subject usually comes about by an intense curiosity to learn more about the subject, whether or not one is in school to receive that knowledge. If students are not taught to question what they hear or read, do not learn to seek information from other sources, or do not learn how to make connections between sources, they will not expand in their knowledge about anything.

As teachers, our job is not to condemn questions or stigmatize them, but to use them as a jumping off point to teach about how to dive into a topic and really explore it.

How did this quote make you feel? Post thoughts in the comments – I love to hear from readers!

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