November Learning Corner

Ways to Inspire Humble Curiosity

This month we are featuring an article from Greater Good Science Center written by Amy L. Eva. The full article and additional resources can be found here.

Humility and curiosity can encourage students to be passionate about learning and open to others’ perspectives. Each exhibit, experience and event at The Discovery Center is design to encourage curiosity and questioning. Amy Eva points out that this natural state of curiosity builds strong learning, but also helps children be humble and to understand there are multiple perspective and ideas. By asking questions, we recognize the existence of many possibilities and viewpoints to explore.

Amy Eva points out, “Research on the character strength of curiosity—and its sister strength, humility—can help us feed authentic learning, human connection, and personal growth.

How do curiosity and humility help us learn? Research suggests that intellectual humility and curiosity go hand in hand, and it makes sense: When we’re curious, we naturally want to learn more (“Who is the new student who just joined my class?”). We seek out new information or greater understanding when we experience uncertainty or a gap in our knowledge (“How does this robot actually work?”).

If we’re intellectually humble about that uncertainty, we can also admit that we don’t have all the answers—that our beliefs may be faulty and our understandings incomplete. In fact, researchers link intellectual humility with the desire to seek out new information and experiences (“I don’t know, but I want to find out!”).

In addition, people who are more curious, open-minded, and humble are more likely to persist through a challenge (like an ethics debate, a confounding science experiment, or a contentious group project) because they view the natural stops and starts as opportunities for growth—rather than failures or mistakes.”

At The Discovery Center, we use scavenger hunts in the museum to add an extra dimension to special event days or to highlight special months. Each scavenger hunt has clues with answers that can be found throughout the museum.

One example is Women’s History Month when we highlight the first women in many professions by using the clues to take children through the exhibits that pertain to each profession.
Scavenger hunts provide a play activity that help build problem solving skills and strengthens a child’s “think-ability”. It exercises both the body and mind and builds self confidence in addressing challenges. Scavenger hunts can reinforce and enhance knowledge learned in a classroom setting and arouse a child’s curiosity to explore new subjects.

Children love to solve the puzzle using the clues in a scavenger hunt. It gives them a fun way to learn while gaining confidence in their ability to problem solve. It’s a challenge they love to solve. Individually played, it increases the above skills, but played in a group, or with a partner or parent, it also builds communication, teamwork and leadership skills.

This month, in honor of World Kindness Day (November 13), our scavenger hunt will be dedicated to exploring kindness and gratitude. Please take time to explore our museum and see if you can find all of the clues!

All the best,

Dr. Brenda Myers

Executive Director

Title

The Discovery Center of the Southern Tier

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Binghamton, NY 13903

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