Children’s Curiosity: A Fantastic Driving Force for Learning

Children are born curious. They thirst for knowledge and diligently use the questioning words “what,” “why,” and “how.” However, as they grow older, many children lose the joy of learning. Curiosity disappears. Why is that?

Curiosity is actually a distinct field of research, and important findings have been made here. First and foremost, curiosity is a fundamental driving force that compels us to act, much like hunger and thirst. Throughout evolution, curiosity has increased the chances of survival because it helps us explore and understand the world we live in.

Curiosity strengthens memory

Curiosity is what pushes us out of our comfort zone to learn something new. And exploration releases dopamine in the brain, creating positive feelings. This brain chemistry is also linked to memory. Therefore, curious children will learn more than those who have lost their curiosity. This is demonstrated, for example, in an experiment involving people aged 18-26 and 65-89. First, they had to read various questions and indicate how curious they were to know the answers before they learned them. In between, they also looked at different faces. Afterwards, they were tested on what they remembered, and both the young and old remembered best the questions that sparked their curiosity.

Children who lose their curiosity

When children lose their curiosity and motivation to learn, there are often two reasons. If it’s too easy, they get bored and shift their attention elsewhere. If it’s too difficult, they don’t experience mastery and lose interest. Curiosity also diminishes when children are passive recipients without the opportunity to actively engage.

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