In defence of the curious

Curiosity is the driving force behind the advancement of humankind – but it is stifled in our classrooms, buried under the weight of teacher workload and accountability. If we want to instil a joy of learning, we need to give pupils the space to let their natural curiosity roam free, writes Alistair McConville

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History does not paint a favourable picture of curiosity.

Pandora’s inquisitiveness about the contents of her infamous box led to all the evils of the world spilling out. Likewise Eve, simply interested in knowing the difference between good and evil, inadvertently ushered in death and pain in childbirth.

Meanwhile, Plato, who you might have thought would know better, actively encouraged a “noble lie” about the bronze, silver and gold strains of humankind, lest the common people became too curious about the divinely ordained nature of their lowly positions in society and challenged them.

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