What exactly is curiosity? What do we mean when we say that curiosity is an attribute of successful learners?
‘Curiosity’ is a trait similar to inquisitiveness: it encompasses a desire to question, investigate, and explore how things work and why things are the way they are.
Indira Ghandi once said, “The power to question is the basis of all human progress.” If we want to change the world, or inspire our children to make a difference, we must first be curious about what is before we can imagine what could be.
But how can we curate curiosity in our children when there are a plethora of entertainment options to choose from? How do we inspire inquisitiveness when we have countless devices to occupy our eyes and our thoughts?
To my mind, nothing replaces a day trip to a museum.
- If you love art, there is the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Gallery of NSW, or the National Portrait Gallery.
- If you love science, there is the Powerhouse Museum or Questacon.
- If you love books, the Mitchell Reading Room at State Library of NSW is awe-inspiring.
- If natural history is your passion, there is the National Dinosaur Museum in Canberra or the Australian Museum in Sydney.
- If you’re interested in ancient history, you can’t go past the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney.
- If you want to know more about Australia’s national history, the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum of Australia are phenomenal.
I’ll always be a reader; trips to the library will always be as exciting to me as Nutella Fairy Bread. But I’ll also be the first to acknowledge that not everyone loves words as much as I do. The best thing about museums is that they suit every learning style.
There are interactive exhibits for energetic and kinaesthetic learners. Visual learners can behold artistic masterpieces, contemplate infographics, and marvel at architectural wonders. Many museums have audio guides and run tours for those who like to listen and ask questions. And of course, if there wasn’t enough to read during the exhibit, the gift shop will give you the opportunity to purchase a book for more information and as a souvenir to remember your adventure.
And if you’re self-isolating or stuck inside on a rainy day this school holidays, look no further than Google Arts and Culture (https://artsandculture.google.com/). We might not be able to travel physically, but you can virtually explore hundreds of renowned museums and galleries from Australia and all over the world including the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, the Van Gogh Museum, and all of the Smithsonian museums. All you need is an internet connection.
So go on! Incite your family’s imagination this holidays and encourage curiosity by physically or virtually exploring a museum together. Follow your interests and don’t be afraid to lose yourself down the rabbit hole of knowledge. You never know what you’ll discover!