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On Inspiring Curiosity in Students

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of June 25 2007






Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2


This Week's Questions


[posed by Netta C.]
  • What is the best way to inspire curiosity in a student?
  • Can a teacher inspire curiosity in a student without feeling personally involved?
  • What can a teacher do to regain their own lost sense of curiosity?

Do you know?



[Question 1] What is the best way to inspire curiosity in a student?
[Answer]
Netta, you've asked a heck of a difficult question here. Two questions actually. One is a bear to answer, and the other almost as bad.

The two questions? What is the best way to inspire someone? And what is the best way to inspire curiosity in someone?

So what is the best way to inspire someone? By sharing something similar which has inspired you. For instance, say you are trying to motivate a woman to learn to better manage her finances. Say this woman has failed many times and at this point, she has all but given up. The thing which might inspire her to keep on trying would be for you to share with her something you have master. Ideally something which you once felt like giving up on as well.

Better yet, try to share something which is both related to her struggle and at the same time, something you have mastered. In other words, something you now loving doing. For instance, in this woman's case, you might share how, for many years, you felt unable to manage to track your spending, and how now, you love doing this. To the point wherein you in recent years have been able to save for several very important items. Including your dream car and your son's birth.

And the curiosity part?

Netta, the basic nature of inspiration includes as part of it some curiosity. However, where inspiration is a generic thing, curiosity is a specific thing. What I mean is, inspiration is like love; we can do it in so many forms. Whereas curiosity is like what you love. You love very specific things.

In a way then, inspiration is like sitting on a high mountain peak calmly taking in the view. Whereas curiosity is like noticing a detail in this view and feeling strong urges to go and personally be near what you see.

Of course, the most basic difference between these two feelings is that inspiration stems from something past, while curiosity stems from something in the future. A desire to revisit a wonderful past event versus a desire to experience a wonderful future event.

This in fact is what makes inspiring curiosity in a person so hard. Because inspiration is based primarily in a past event or events, when you draw on your inspiration to inspire someone else, you draw on something already in existence. A sure thing. Whereas when you try to inspire curiosity in a person, while you may indeed be feeling curious yourself, more times than not, this is not the case. Thus when you try to inspire curiosity in another person, you not only have to try to generate this feeling in them. You also must generate this feeling in yourself.

So how do you inspire curiosity in another? By doing what I just mentioned; by generating it in yourself in the very same moments as you are trying to inspire this other person. Only by doing this can you hope to inspire curiosity in another. Thus, learning to find your own curiosity is one of the main skills in being a teacher.

[Question 2] Can a teacher inspire curiosity in a student without feeling personally involved?
[Answer]
No.

[Question 3] What can a teacher do to regain their own lost sense of curiosity?
[Answer]
The simple answer? Find new questions to ask about the something which the teacher is teaching.

And if the teacher has lost their entire ability for curiosity?

Then perhaps the teacher need a new personal teacher from which to regain his or her lost curiosity.

Why another teacher? Because curiosity is like a fire. It burns only when there is heat. Moreover, if a teacher has lost her fire, then it requires another teacher to re ignite her.

In a way then, curiosity is fueled by passion, and passion by unanswered questions. Thus, even with great questions, if a teacher feels no passion, there will be no fire. And no curiosity.

[Question 4] How does not knowing what Layer you're in prevent you from being curious? Does this knowing even matter? Is it that knowing can make your choices more visible?
[Answer]
Last question first. Does knowing what Layer you're in make your choices more visible? No. But it does allow you to know what it is you're not noticing. At least, in a ballpark sense.

Does knowing what Layer you're in prevent you from being curious? No. In fact, in this case, it can generate a world of curiosity, especially in light of how I answered your last question.

Finally, with regard to curiosity, does knowing what Layer you're in even matter?

In the most general sense, no. You can feel curious and be totally unaware of the Layers. However, as I've just said, by knowing what Layer you're in, you [1] get the gist of what you are not seeing, and [2] this can then generate curiosity in you, as far as what it is you're not seeing.

[Question 5] What would an Emergence curriculum be structured like? How would the time frame of lessons be affected?
[Answer]
Well, Netta, you've asked one of the big ones. A question about one of my greatest dreams; to create a school based in Emergence Personality Theory and how it can be used to generate non judgmental learning and blamelessness healing.

So what would it be structured like? To be honest, I do not know yet. Albeit, I'm sure you know all too well how far we've come in the past ten years toward achieving this goal.

I suppose the two things I do know though are the two things I've already mentioned. One. That an Emergence curriculum would include non judgmental learning. And two. That an Emergence curriculum would also include blamelessness healing.

More than this I cannot say. Other than that the best is yet to come.


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