TED Conversations

Richard Martin

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How do we cultivate curiosity?

During his TED talk Ramsey Musallam outlined his "3 rules to spark learning" as follows:

1. Curiosity comes first
2. Embrace the mess
3. Practice reflection

Of course, Ramsey had the classroom in mind when he came up with these rules but I feel as if workplaces and businesses can benefit from cultivating curiosity as well.

My Questions:
1. How do we make curiosity the focal point of classrooms and/or businesses?

2. What are some of your experiences? Have you ever had an awesome lecturer or teacher that really sparked your imagination? Has your workplace ever done something to welcome your creativity?

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    Nov 14 2013: "How do we cultivate curiosity?" is an outstanding question because it really goes to the heart of teaching and why we are teachers in the first place. As Ramsey Musallam puts it "it shouldn't take a life-threatening situation to move us from pseudo-teaching to teaching."Once passion is placed behind the right job, everything goes spectacularly. Teaching is a passion. When we love what we do, it is fun. I love all animals and for me the human child is the most remarkable and awesome creature that I have ever met on this Earth.. Children are naturally born with curiosity. We either provide the "safe" space for them to flourish or we create environments that constrict their natural wonders and squander the gifts they bring to humanity.

    "Every Child deserves a champion. We are born to make a difference."
    http://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion.html
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      Nov 14 2013: Your post triggered a thought. While there are likely some teachers who choose that profession because their educations don't lead them to any other work they would find more interesting, those who pursue teaching intentionally (rather than by default) typically are drawn to that career precisely because they are brimming with curiosity, are passionate about learning, and want to provide for students an environment that both allows them to feel those same exhilerating feelings and to learn to build a life in which they continue to gather stimulating learning experiences for perpetuity through their own initiative.

      Over a half century since I first set foot in a classroom, I feel and see the signs of Fall and immediately am overcome with the joy of the start of school, even though it has been a long time since I walked to school through falling leaves with my lunch sack.
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        Nov 14 2013: I love it:-) & totally relate to the special excitement of autumn and that familiar walk through the leaves…maybe that too adds to the joy of being a teacher…this time being there at the welcoming end of those curious new eyes and ushering beautiful new minds along their way.….Thank you!!
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          Nov 14 2013: I am unable to enlarge your avatar to see more clearly. Is that a baby elephant rolling on a soccer ball?
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        Nov 14 2013: yes♡ a baby elephant rolling on a soccer ball:)
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        Nov 15 2013: Is that avatar a portrait of a terrier!
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        Nov 16 2013: Some more thoughts (on your question)...a baby elephant rolling on a soccer ball is a reminder for me that learning comes. It comes by itself.

        Baby elephants learn to play soccer..with a little bit of practice:)...which means so can we :):) watching them learn helps us see how;
        http://dailypicksandflicks.com/2013/10/23/baby-elephant-playing-soccer-video/
        http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/videos/baby-elephant-playing-soccer/
        And of course ... after soccer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVVorvXojhE :)
        The videos illustrates how curiosity comes naturally to intelligent animals (dogs, dolphins, parrots, chimps, horses, seals, etc. etc.)

        For the excellent question asked by Richard about how to ‘cultivate curiosity’, I am thinking about children and the education environment....and putting that together with our amazing chemistry teacher (Richard’s video) Ramsey Musallam, one word comes to mind. Fun. The fun associated with learning, or the lack thereof, seems to make ALL the difference.
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      Nov 15 2013: I most definitely agree with the idea of being passionate in assisting the learning process of our youth. For me good 'teachers' also views themselves as students who are learning from their charges. I believe play, as well as the freedom to explore, are the foundation necessary to foster that curiosity. However it is an environment that accepts the inevitable wrong turns and poor choices as simply part of that learning process that nurtures the curiosity and, instead of simply ridiculing or blaming the student.
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        Nov 15 2013: True….actually ridiculing or blaming have no place in any interaction. And in the words of the luminary and inspiring Ms. Rita Pierson "Kids don't learn from people they don't like."

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