Does curiosity kill the cat?
![alt text](/filestore/BlogImage/972bcd35-1193-4fa5-a04e-8efd95bf2182/27e93717-2caf-4784-a87b-9eb1110ccf21Tablets.jpg "Curiosity") Tony Cann, Learning by Questions founder, **“we eat because we’re hungry - we learn because we’re curious.”** They say that curiosity killed the cat. But I wonder if the opposite is true: indifference killed the cat. The dictionary defines curiosity as, “the desire to learn something”. If there is no desire to learn, ignorance reigns and that can only ever lead to bad things. A healthy curiosity is what drives education. It is the neverending well of curiosity that a student maintains, not just through school, but for the whole of their lives that allows for personal growth. But what does curiosity look like? And what role does a school play in the cultivation of curious pupils? ## A gap in knowledge That’s all it takes: a gap between what we know and what we want to know. Grades can be achieved without being curious by learning tactics in test-taking. Exploration, asking questions, devouring books and information, investigating concepts, testing hypotheses and searching for meaning and connections in people, nature and learning experiences lead to a want to learn. ## Teaching curiosity Teaching curiosity can be incredibly invigorating and freeing in the classroom. Encouraging pupils to question the world around them can lead to interesting conversations with pupils, leading to further questions and ideas you may never have considered. Here are some top tips for cultivating a curious climate in your classroom. ### 1. Award curiosity Harness and reinforce curiosity as and when it appears. Take the moment to praise students when they seek connections in their learning through questions, explorations and investigations. Praise comments that won’t lead to a good grade or demonstrate ‘good behaviour’ but that do evoke interesting exploration. ### 2. Teach questioning Nothing proves the depth of understanding more than when a quality question comes from the voice of a student. Encouraging students to use question stems like “why, “ “what if,” and “how” ultimately leads to much deeper thinking. ### 3. Model curiosity If you don’t know the answer to a question, model your own learning experience. Be honest and demonstrate that it is a great learning opportunity when you don’t know something. ### 4. Encourage skepticism In a world of ‘fake news,’ it is fair to ask those who provide information to also provide evidence before accepting their message. This skill could be one of the most important your students learn in their school years. ### 5. Explore a variety of cultures and societies Exploring the world around them and making links between themselves and other cultures and beliefs is a great route to not only curiosity but also acceptance of others. The platform provided by [signing up to a free account with LbQ](http://www.lbq.org/TryLbQ/) gives teachers the tools to nurture curiosity in their students and provides students with a good model for questioning.