Questioning and curiosity go hand in hand. One simply cannot exist without the other. Recently, I read a book by Brian Grazer on the power of curiosity. I loved every word and wanted to stand up and scream, “YES! That’s it!”
Learning journals are simply a record of answers to our questions, created through curiosity. Children are the greatest examples of this curiosity. Yet, as we get older, adults squish this desire almost as if possessed by embarrassment for thinking a question or not knowing the answer.
Sitting with my four-year old nephew in church a couple of weeks ago, reminded me of the power of asking questions. The squirrely, squirming young man climbed on my lap, facing me.
“Aunt Tracy, where’s the gum?”
Curiosity is a form of power and also a form of courage.
~Brian Grazer, A Curious Mind, p15
“In my bag.”
“Not until after the sacrament.”
“Can I have it?”
I thought that would suffice, but no … When I didn’t acknowledge him again, hoping my example of reverence would prompt him to be reverent, he put his hands on both of my checks and forced me to look him in the eyes.
“Why can’t I have it until after the sacrament?”
There it was. Such a simple question. Not having a piece of gum until after the sacrament was the rule when I was growing up. I never considered the reasoning behind it. During the passing of the sacrament, I pondered this simple question. Many reasons came to my mind and mostly I learned something new. The value of asking questions and being curious about even the most rote actions. The challenge is to ask the questions and learn how to develop curiosity again.
By Tracy Atkinson
Tracy Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passion is researching, studying and investigating the attributes related to self-directed learners. She has published several titles, including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Lemosa: The Annals of the Hidden, Book Two, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.