Saturday, June 17, 2000









"The Curiosity Cycle" by Jonathan Mugan
"How To Be An Explorer of the World" by Keri Smith (this is just fun too!)

Some articles that may be interesting in :
Curiosity: The Fuel of Development (Scholastic)

Why Curiosity Enhances Learning 

How Curiosity Changes the Brain To Enhance Learning (Science Daily) 

5 Learning Strategies That Make Students Curious

Encouraging Curiosity for Better Learning: Too Small to Fail

Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why? (nprED) - Home Page Top Stories - Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why?
Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why?
Curiosity: It Helps Us Learn, But Why?


Today's cat is inspired by a great article by Linda Flanagan at MindShift: How to Spark Curiosity in Children Through Embracing Uncertainty.

Without insight into the holes in our knowledge, students mistakenly believe that some subjects are closed. They lose humility and curiosity in the face of this conceit.

Jamie Holmes [...] has just written a book on the hidden benefits of uncertainty. In “Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing,”

He wants students to grapple with uncertainty to spark their curiosity and better prepare them for the “real world,” where answers are seldom clear-cut or permanent.

Columbia neuroscience professor Stuart Firestein [...] argues that “insightful ignorance” drives science.

Address the emotional impact of uncertainty.

Assign projects that provoke uncertainty.

inviting students to find mistakes; asking them to present arguments for alien viewpoints; and providing assignments that students will fail.

“The best assignments should make students make mistakes, be confused and feel uncertain,” [Holmes] said.

Adopt a non-authoritarian teaching style to encourage exploration, challenge and revision.

Teachers who instruct with a sense of humanity, curiosity and an appreciation for mystery are more apt to engage students in learning.

When teachers present themselves as experts imparting wisdom, students get the mistaken idea that subjects are closed. “Teachers should help students find ways to think and learn,” he said. “The best teachers are in awe of their subjects.”

Emphasize the current topics of debate in a field.

Sharing what researchers, historians and theorists are arguing about now makes clear that questioning and challenging facts are what drive discovery.

Invite guest speakers to share the mysteries they’re exploring.

Chemists, statisticians, zoologists and others share with students the ambiguities that excite them, opening students’ minds to the vast unknowns waiting to be examined.

When Mollie Cueva-Dabkoski was growing up, her mother took her to the library every week to read stories together. When the storytelling ended, her mother asked questions that challenged the narrative and pressed Mollie to reconsider the protagonist’s motives, or to rethink the gender norms.

How to explain her wide-ranging curiosity? “There are big gaps in my knowledge,” [Cueva-Dabkoski] said.

When Success Leads to Failure
The pressure to achieve academically is a crime against learning.
by Jessica Lahey
The article is an excerpt from Jessica Lahey’s book, The Gift of Failure.

“Marianna’s grades are fine; I’m not worried about that, but she just doesn’t seem to love learning anymore.” Above all else, we taught her to fear failure. That fear is what has destroyed her love of learning. [...] The truth—for this parent and so many others—is this: Her child has sacrificed her natural curiosity and love of learning at the altar of achievement, and it’s our fault.
DONE: Follow your natural curiosity and see what you learn.

Marianna’s parents, her teachers, society at large—we are all implicated in this crime against learning. From her first day of school, we pointed her toward that altar and trained her to measure her progress by means of points, scores, and awards. We taught Marianna that her potential is tied to her intellect, and that her intellect is more important than her character. We taught her to come home proudly bearing As, championship trophies, and college acceptances, and we inadvertently taught her that we don’t really care how she obtains them. We taught her to protect her academic and extracurricular perfection at all costs and that it’s better to quit when things get challenging rather than risk marring that perfect record. Above all else, we taught her to fear failure. That fear is what has destroyed her love of learning.

[Marianna] knows that if she tries something challenging or new, and fails, that failure will be hard evidence that she’s not as smart as everyone keeps telling her she is. Better to be safe. Is that what we want? Kids who get straight As but hate learning? Kids who achieve academically, but are too afraid to take leaps into the unknown?

[Marianna's mother] wants to give Marianna everything and yet she forgets that her best childhood experiences likely arose from the thrill of facing challenge, from the moments she lost herself in the trying and, when she failed, trying again to accomplish something all on her own, simply for the adventure and pleasure inherent in learning something new.

Is that what we want? Kids who get straight As but hate learning?

Get motivated:
All is well.
Believe you can.
Everything is possible.
Stay strong.
Never give up.
Do it now.


Neil Gaiman quotes:

When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

Today's cat was inspired by this excellent infographic at This Nifty Infographic Is a Great Introduction to Neuroplasticity and Cognitive Therapy. The infographic itself comes from Alta Mira Recovery Programs.

Collection: Alta Mira

We feel good; we seek to repeat the activity.
You are the architect of your brain.
The brain changes based on experiences.
New skills carve out new brain pathways.
Practice forms new habits.
Direct your attention to the desired change.
Environmental cues create intensecraves.
Set goals and make conscious decisions.
Seek pleasure from healthy pursuits.
Learn to live a comfortable and responsible life.
Avoid substances that provide unhealthy rewards.
Seek support from peers and take care of yourself.
Highly focused activities help keep the brain in the good shape.
The brain is a muscle that grows with exercise.
Mindfulness and meditation help the brain create new pathways.


This article focuses on the link between growth mindset and creativity, which is one of my favorite aspects of working with a growth mindset: A Growth Mindset Fuels Creativity in Youth by Marilyn Price-Mitchell.

"When children develop growth mindsets, they see themselves as creative works in progress. On the other hand, those with fixed mindsets see their abilities as static, so they avoid challenge and failure."

Jack Andraka: 15-year-old who developed test for pancreatic cancer. Jack in interview said: “You can be a genius, but if you don’t have the creativity to put that knowledge to use, then you just have a bunch of knowledge and nothing else. I mean, like, then you’re just as good as my smartphone.”

Growth Mindset #1: “I see connections.”
"they must know how to recognize, analyze, and respond to a web of relationships that are impacted by small- and large-scale change. This requires a shift from linear to non-linear thinking."

Growth Mindset #2: “I am open to new ideas.”
Einstein’s words, “We can’t solve the world’s problems by using the same type of thinking we used when we created them,” couldn’t ring more true today.

Growth Mindset #3: “I bow to my mistakes.”
"Innovation only occurs when we have the courage to make mistakes and learn from them. Instead of shaming students who don’t perform to expectations, we must teach them that mistakes are part of their growth as human beings."
"If you haven’t heard of the Failure Bow, read about it in the Harvard Business Review. Developed by Matt Smith, an improvisation teacher, it works by teaching people to raise their hands in the air, announce “I failed,” grin like a compliant dog, and then move on."

Growth Mindset #4: “I embrace diversity.”
"The world is made up of different cultures that collaborate and collide at lightning speeds. Key to the development of better products, services, and policies is a young person’s ability to understand people who are different from themselves."

Growth Mindset #5: “I live in a human-virtual world.”
"The next generation of leaders will know how to use the power of the Internet and its tools to connect with people and ideas across the globe."
"Today’s youth must learn to live in human and virtual spaces simultaneously, harnessing the benefits of both."

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