Fostering an Environment That Values Curiosity and Investigation

Fostering an Environment That Values Curiosity and Investigation

Set the stage for inves­ti­ga­tion, explo­ration and dis­cus­sion, con­vey a mes­sage of dis­cov­ery, and choose rewards wisely to fos­ter an envi­ron­ment that val­ues curios­ity and investigation.

For infants and tod­dlers learn­ing and liv­ing are the same thing. If they feel secure, trea­sured, loved, their own energy and curios­ity will bring them new under­stand­ing and new skills.” ~ Amy Dombro

Guide your child’s learn­ing by fos­ter­ing an envi­ron­ment that val­ues curios­ity and inves­ti­ga­tion. Approach the world with curios­ity and she will fol­low you. Observe your envi­ron­ment and ask ques­tions if you don’t under­stand some­thing. She’ll learn that it’s nat­ural to ask ques­tions and inquire about things that she doesn’t under­stand. Make it a habit to talk about a ques­tion that you or she won­dered about every day. She’ll learn that curios­ity is val­ued and she’ll start pay­ing atten­tion to her own questions.

Set the stage

Cre­ate oppor­tu­ni­ties for your child by set­ting the stage for inves­ti­ga­tion, explo­ration and dis­cus­sion. Encour­age inde­pen­dent think­ing by your every­day actions. Share your ques­tions and be open to inquiries. Be for­giv­ing to mis­takes. It’s impor­tant for her to under­stand that self-censorship based on the fear of doing wrong sti­fles learn­ing and dis­cov­ery. She’ll dis­cover what is “right” or “wrong” and let go of per­ceived mis­takes. Remem­ber that inquiry is the gate­way to a rain­bow of pos­si­ble responses and fur­ther inquiry.

Con­vey a mes­sage of discovery

Regard­less of your child’s enthu­si­asm about math and sci­ence intro­duce, reignite and sus­tain her moti­va­tion and con­fi­dence. Ask­ing her ques­tions and let her teach you. Be gen­er­ous in your responses and avoid dis­cour­ag­ing behaviour.

Choose rewards wisely

Remem­ber that intrin­sic rewards are the best. She’ll learn best when she learns for the love of it. Short term incen­tives such as cash or treats for doing home­work or good grades do not instil a love of learn­ing. Let the pur­suit of knowl­edge be its own reward. Nur­ture a gen­uine hunger for dis­cov­ery for broad, long-lasting and inven­tive effects.


Bar­ber, J., Parizeau, N. & Bergman, L. (2002). Spark Your Child’s Suc­cess in Math and Sci­ence. Great Explo­rations in Math and Sci­ence. Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia: Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Berkeley.


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