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Curiosity -- Don't Leave School Without It!

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Think Different. Just Do It. We Try Harder. These are examples of the best taglines ever created. Taglines are emotional triggers for us. They help us remember what we want to do and who we want to be. And they say what we mean in very concise language.

At a recent educational conference we asked teachers to provide their personal tagline. Examples of a few taglines were "Make it so," "We got this," Potential realized." A few of the taglines that really stood out included the word "curiosity," such as "Embrace change and inspire lifelong curiosity" and "Creativity equals curiosity."

The dictionary says that "curiosity" is the "desire to know or learn." I think that pretty well sums up what we, as individuals involved in educational innovation, are trying to infuse in our students. When it comes right down to it, isn't curiosity one of the key ingredients in life that will motivate students to think out of the box, to stretch their imagination and to create new and amazing things.

According to culturosity.com, "Curiosity has been the driving force behind most inventions, discoveries and adventures in the history of mankind. Were it not for the curiosity of Christopher Columbus, Lewis and Clark, and countless others, there would be no United States of America, let alone cars, electricity, phones, or computers. Trying to separate curiosity from inventions and discoveries is futile. They are part and parcel."

Curiosity is a catalyst for change. It's the spark that motivates our students to learn more. It's what charges their intellectual batteries, unlike memorization of facts. As Samuel Johnson said, "Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect."

My personal tagline is "Life is Learning." I believe we need learning to live in the same way we need air to breathe. Life IS about learning -- experiencing new things, taking new adventures and finding out what makes the world "tick." But without a healthy dose of curiosity -- can real learning take place? A great learning environment is one where the educational pedagogy ignites imagination and inspires the pursuit of knowledge.

We talk about making learning real, relevant and engaging. What we mean is transforming our schools into the kind of places that can encourage and reward curiosity and in so doing provide students one of the essential keys to a successful life.