• Matt Murrie

What If Curiosity Can Bridge the Achievement Gap?




What: “Promoting curiosity in children, especially those from environments of economic disadvantage, may be an important, under-recognised way to address the achievement gap. Promoting curiosity is a foundation for early learning that we should be emphasising more when we look at academic achievement.”


Who: According to the lead researcher, Dr. Prachi Shah, on the study "Early Childhood Curiosity and Kindergarten Reading and Math Academic Achievement"


Where: Dr Prachi Shah is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician at CS Mott Children’s Hospital and an assistant research scientist at the University of Michigan; the study was conducted by the University of Michigan CS Mott Children’s Hospital and the Center for Human Growth and Development.


When: The study was published in Pediatric Research April 26, 2018 (linked in More Info)


How: Researchers measured children's curiosity via questionnaires and visits by their parents when they were babies, toddlers, and preschoolers; they discovered the more curious kids performed better in kindergarten.


Why: Curiosity as as teacher is the most natural way to learn: humans are born curious; curiosity is a learning tool we've developed for our own survival.


Huh?: How do we convince educators and administrators there is no correlation between focus and good behavior and and academic performance--but there is between curiosity and academic performance?


Wow!: The more research and noise people are making about the importance of curiosity in learning, the more likely they will start taking action and implementing Curiosity Based Learning processes and other approaches to actively engage learning and performance.


More info:


Article: Schools are killing curiosity’: why we need to stop telling children to shut up and learn


Study in Pediatric Research: Early childhood curiosity and kindergarten reading and math academic achievement

What If Curiosity

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