Curiosity may have killed the cat according to some, but recent research shows it’s a trait that will be one of the most sought-after skills for the future.
According to a report in the Harvard Business Review when it comes to the jobs of tomorrow, cultivating curiosity at all levels can help leaders and their employees adapt and face uncertain market conditions and external pressures.
The report claimed that when one’s curiosity is triggered, people think more rationally and deeply about decisions and come up with creative solutions. The report also said leaders gain more respect from their followers by asking them more questions, and employees tend to develop more trusting, collaborative relationships with colleagues.
But many leaders have previously stifled curiosity out of fear it would increase risk, costs and drive inefficiency. Those surveyed for the report said they faced barriers to asking more questions at work, a factor the report’s author claims could stem from childhood.
While we’re born into the world with awe and wonder about the environment around us, data suggests the curiosity of a human peaks at the age of four or five and steadily declines. A recent push by educators to ditch traditional teaching practices in favour of a tailored, more personalised approach to learning for each child is helping to counter that.
British International School of Chicago, Lincoln Park Head of STEAM Tom Collins said no matter what year a student was in, one could not under estimate the power of asking questions.
Asking questions through an inquiry-based form of learning is a cornerstone of the curriculum at Mr Collins’ school. By introducing interdisciplinary learning through STEAM subjects at a primary school level, students begin to draw connections between different parts of their curriculum by learning from various projects, thereby growing their curiosity.
“When children start seeing connections, they become curious,” Mr Collins said.
“They want to know why does that mathematical concept apply to science. STEAM learning breaks down the barriers between lessons; that’s how we get children to be curious about the world around them and get them excited.”