Intelligence, hard work, dedication … we associate these traits with academic success. But researchers have found that curiosity is just as important.
Researchers have long associated intelligence and conscientiousness with academic success. But intelligent people may fail courses while less intelligent students may succeed because they attend class regularly and do their homework.
But researchers’ own curiosity led them to wonder whether a thirst for knowledge, or a curiosity about what they’re learning, would also be a predictor of students’ success.
After examining 200 studies of 50,000 students, researchers concluded that curiosity is as important a trait for academic success as conscientiousness. And when combined, these two traits had as big an impact as intelligence on students’ learning and performance.
Teachers are encouraged to foster curiosity in their students and to help them become independent learners.
The benefits of developing a healthy sense of curiosity may pay off as an adult in the workplace where a worker’s curiosity may signal a willingness to learn new tasks to employers.
Foster your curiosity
- read a genre of book you don’t normally read
- visit a museum or art gallery
- explore a historic site in your area
- go on a guided nature walk
- plan a trip to somewhere you dream about going
- enrol in a night course or online course