Divya Bhatia, Principal, Amity International School, Saket, emphasizes instilling curiosity in every subject and encourages discussions based on current happenings …

In the ancient times, India was known for the vast wealth of knowledge, which was disseminated through ‘Gurukuls’ and worked with the belief that knowledge gives liberation. Knowledge acts like the ‘third eye’, which provides insight into the world. Education involved three basic stages, which included ‘Sravana’ (acquiring knowledge through listening), ‘Manana’ (to internalize through thinking, analysis and assimilation) and ‘Nidhyasana’ (comprehending and applying knowledge in the real life).  

Innate curiosity nurtures true creativity

Stimulating curiosity among the students

Students even in the age-old education system were encouraged to think and form their opinions. The art of questioning was encouraged by the gurus. At Amity, our motto is to ‘blend modernity with tradition’. Therefore, in keeping with the present day need of a child living in a world wired to technology, we attempt to integrate our ancient philosophy to today’s teaching and learning process. We give great emphasis to the 5 Cs -- Curiosity, Critical thinking, Creativity, Communication and Collaboration.

Critical and creative thinking requires students to think broadly using skills such as reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation in all learning areas at school and in their daily lives.

Thinking needs to be productive, purposeful and intentional. It is the centre of effective learning.

The 21st century with all its challenges requires young children to be enterprising and adaptable.  The capability to think creatively stems from innate curiosity and that is a part of every child. It is important to stimulate this inherent curiosity and keep it alive. From the very beginning, students are encouraged to think out of the box. All lessons are planned keeping in mind the spirit of inquiry. 

Key strategies to activate curiosity among the learners

Turn every lesson into a question answer session, leading from one question to another. Students are encouraged to come prepared for the forthcoming lessons with a list of queries.

Teachers are encouraged to leave some open-ended and some unanswered questions for the children to discover themselves. The joy of discovery ignites the spark for further curiosity.

In primary classes, curiosity is ignited by using ‘curiosity corners’ and class boards that stimulate young children to think and question.

Students who show curiosity should be encouraged and rewarded. Think pair and share activities are an integral part of classroom teaching. Flip classrooms and project based learning further enhance the students’ curiosity and creativity. An ‘idea box ‘ is placed on the corridors where children can drop an innovative idea that is further discussed and worked upon with the help of teachers.

Encouraging independent thinking

Curiosity and creativity are not restrained to a particular subject. They are related to our daily lives and discussions based on current happenings form an important part of everyday teaching. 

To quote an example, the recent Aadhaar judgement was used in a class discussion where students were asked to think of the fundamental rights which were affected, followed by a debate on whether it is constitutional.

Searching the Internet for answers and bringing newspaper clippings for discussion are regular features. Students have access to a variety of open sources of information and the role of the teacher should be to facilitate their understanding and help them filter the misinformation.

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