Evidence That It Works
In a study of a diverse group of 6,200 Kindergartners, researchers found that curiosity is significantly linked to higher scores in both reading and mathematics, particularly for children with lower socioeconomic status.
Another study with teens in Hong Kong found that when school is more challenging, curious students perform better than their less curious peers on academic achievement tests.
Why Does It Matter?
Wondering is a form of curiosity. When we ask questions, we are using our observation and reasoning skills. When children are curious, they are not only motivated to learn, but they also learn more effectively.
Parents and caregivers have multiple opportunities throughout the day to encourage curiosity and wonder in their children. As Dacher Keltner, founding faculty member of the Greater Good Science Center and leading researcher on awe, said, “When I think back on my own parenting experiences, some of the best moments are moments of awe. How do you find awe? You plan unstructured time. You wander. You take a walk with no aim. You slow things down. How do you find awe? You allow for mystery and open questions.”