When we became curious Habits of Mind

Wrenbe- Wren Brown

Section 41, Journey Log 1, Ranger

In class the past week we have been familiarizing ourselves with the habits of mind. Each reading seems to be tackling a new concept and what each habit of mind means to the individual. In the reading for Exploration one question sparked MY curiosity: "Why are we drawn to the extraordinary?" As the chapter went on and talked about Dissanayake and her work in evolutionary aesthetics I began to wonder less about this question and more about other questions, Why do people spend so much time searching for answers? Where did the intense drive for knowledge come from? When did we become curious?

Research in developmental psychology attributes the degree of curiosity in a person to their parent/child relationship. For example strict parents would raise adults that have very limited curiosity and would be lacking in creativity, and parents who supported unhealthy and excessive dependency would raise children who lack in originality. This research suggests that children are taught to be curious by the social reinforcement their parents give them. If you believe that curiosity is solely based on parent/child relationships then there is no room for exceptions, but what about the adults raised in strict homes that show plenty of curiosity? Is curiosity as simple as how your parents treated your curious habits as a child?

This past summer I worked at a daycare taking care of children from 6 months to 5 years, each child encountered was individual, even in infancy, they all had personality. Curiosity is a big part of a child's personality, some children are always pushing the limits of what they can get away with and others are always following the rules, but each child I came across showed that they were curious.For example some two year olds were infinitely curious about how doors worked, so they naturally figured out how to use them, much to the disdain of the workers who had to chase them down the hallways, some kids were more curious about how hard they had to pull to tear pages out of books, and others were curious about projectile physics (which mostly manifested itself by the need to hurl hard objects at each other). All children experience curiosity, so is it conditioned out of them in strict households, or do they just hide their curiosity until they are able to learn the habits of mind and set it free?

Curiosity allows people to ask questions, and drives research. Curiosity can be what drives people to seize their opportunities, if not to answer their burning question or to explore and expand on what they know. Is a child’s disciplinary relationship with their parents what drives curiosity and allows them to seize opportunity? People who learn from their failures are the people who are curious and don’t let their curiosity fade when they fail. Research is driven by curiosity and failure, and so people. When do we become curious, when our parents tell us it is okay to be, or is it after we fail?




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