Children are born ready to learn, curious about the world around them. This curiosity drives them to learn naturally, through experience and experimentation. Unfortunately, external rewards for learning, like grades and test scores are not only less effective motivators than natural curiosity, but actually undermine it.
Research shows that curiosity and self-motivated learning are critical for school readiness, helping children to remain engaged in the classroom and to develop the confidence that they are effective and capable students.
Babies are born learners and it is curiosity which drives them to figure out the world around them and how it works. Research shows that children have an internal drive to learn. It is this natural desire, rather than external rewards, which motivates them to seek out new experiences and leads them toward becoming lifelong learners.
The emerging science about children’s brains and how they develop shows that an adult’s drive to succeed socially, academically and professionally has its roots in self-motivation and curiosity during childhood.
Curiosity is school-fuel for kids. Children with high levels of curiosity are motivated to learn or accomplish something new for the reward of simply having mastered it. Science calls this hunger to learn and do mastery motivation.
To be successful as adults, children must understand from an early age that they can do and become anything that they set their minds to. A parent is a child’s first teacher. Until a child begins school and starts to interact with peers and other adults, instilling self-confidence and self-esteem is the responsibility of Mom, Dad, and caregivers.