Curiosity

Poughkeepsie Day School graduates students who:

  • Are intellectually curious, active seekers, users and creators of knowledge

Curiosity is the natural stimulus to learning and small children have it in abundance. The upturned Frisbee in the picture below is full of the playground gleanings of a kindergartener at lunch-time.

What happens to that curiosity as children grow older? We live in a world of abundant information – some might say an overload. To make use of that available information so that it may become useful knowledge we need not just technological literacy but also the curiosity to seek it out and the desire to put what we learn to good effect.

It is quite amazing how we have managed to turn the process of learning into something children fail.

Ask many adults and they remember times in school as an ordeal where learning was something to dread and teachers people to be feared.

As I imagine children – whether just beginning in the lower school at Poughkeepsie Day School or perhaps returning as older teenagers to the high school – I like to think that they are filled more with anticipation at a new beginning. I hope they have confidence that whatever the year may bring they will experience a school that trusts children as learners.

Our job as educators is not to chivvy and chide the reluctant learner but to exercise what Jerome Bruner somewhere called the “canny art of intellectual temptation.”

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