The Power of Why: From Curiosity to Comprehension

Educators across the board agree that curiosity is the common characteristic found in eager, effortful and successful learners! They also agree that this particular trait – spurs growth, mastery and over time, innovation. And that this curiosity-trait is closely linked to ‘intrinsic motivation’. Despite this correlation, researchers are still investigating this complex and multifaceted phenomena-curiosity! They still want to know more about the psychological, neural and cognitive processes that are behind any curious mind.

Neuroscientists who have investigated the brain mechanisms that underlie curiosity, say that the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and dopaminergic pathways combine to create a curious brain. That curiosity is thought to involve a balance between cognitive control processes and reward-related systems in the brain. In other words when you figure out something, you also ‘feel’ good, so you keep going. Some have pointed to mechanisms of the brains involved in the search for food as humans evolved and similar instincts guide us to seek information.

But perhaps the important questions we are asked when we conduct workshops with educators and parents is how to cultivate curiosity, if it doesn’t seem to be there! Research seems to suggest one of the most effective ways to do so is both practice and build the foundational skill of asking good questions. Yes! Asking a good question thus, is a foundational skill, which can be taught and learned and in turn will cultivate curiosity!

This month we are asking you to build your knowledge on curiosity. We recommend this book to dive into the concept in detail, a crisp article which discusses how parents and children can guide natural curiosity.

With Grit & Gratitude,
The Sai Shiko Team

Book Recommendation: Hungry Mind by Susan Engel
Talk Recommendation


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