Is She Curious? She will Achieve!
Michigan: Promoting curiosity may be a valuable approach to foster early academic achievement, particularly for children in poverty, a new analysis finds. It says that the more curious the child is, the more likely he or she be to perform better in school.
Researchers at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and the Center for Human Growth and Development analyzed data from 6,200 kindergartners from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort.
The team measured curiosity based on a behavioral questionnaire from parents and assessed reading and math achievement among kindergartners. The finding was that, children with lower socioeconomic status generally have lower achievement than peers, but those who were characterized as curious performed similarly on math and reading assessments as children from higher income families.
"Curiosity is characterised by the joy of discovery and the desire for exploration and is characterized by the motivation to seek answers to the unknown. Promoting curiosity in children, especially those from environments of economic disadvantage may be an important, under-recognised way to address the achievement gap." says the study.
Children who grow up in financially secure conditions tend to have greater access to resources to encourage reading and math academic achievement, whereas those from poorer communities are more likely to be raised in less stimulating environments. In less-stimulating situations, the drive for academic achievement is related to a child’s motivation to learn, or curiosity.
"Promoting curiosity is a foundation for early learning that we should be emphasizing more when we look at academic achievement" the study reminds.
(Source: Materials by the University of Michigan)