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Cultivating Curiosity for Lifelong Learning

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In today’s world, curiosity plays such an important but underappreciated role. Having an intense desire to know or to learn something might sound like it’s less important than the actual act of learning that thing, but curiosity really is key to the learning process — not just in the present, but for lifelong learning. For this reason, it’s well worth knowing how to leverage curiosity to enable lifelong learning. But how can you make this happen? How can you cultivate curiosity for lifelong learning? Let’s discuss.

Why Is Curiosity Important?

Curiosity matters so much. Not only does it allow you to learn new things, but it also improves the physical makeup of your brain. You see, the brain is like a muscle, and as such, it needs to be exercised. The more it’s exercised, the stronger and more powerful it becomes. Curiosity has the power to do this, and several other things, as well. Below are just a handful of the different benefits of curiosity in learning and work performance.

Memory

First and foremost, curiosity can improve memory. The reasoning is twofold. First, you’re wanting to learn something, which leads to an increase in knowledge, which leads to a fuller memory. Second, curiosity is a mental exercise that stretches and flexes your brain, making it stronger and more equipped to handle more memories. Experts believe that feelings of curiosity put the brain in a state of mind that is more receptive to knowledge. In other words, more curiosity results in greater recollection. The greater your curiosity, the greater your memory.

Prior Knowledge

Just as there is a relationship between curiosity and memory, there is also a connection between curiosity and the recollection of prior knowledge. Experts presume that learning is enhanced when you’re curious about the information, which then boosts learning based on one’s prior knowledge. In other words, it’s a feedback loop of sorts: the desire to learn digs up what’s been learned in the past which then puts you in the headspace to learn even more.

Reward and Pleasure

Beyond improvements to learning, there’s also the simple fact that curiosity can lead to rewarding feelings of pleasure when your sense of curiosity is sated at last. This rewarding pleasure is a great feeling and can lead to the desire to want to learn even more as a result. In other words, it’s almost as if curiosity is so rewarding and pleasurable that it leads to more curiosity as a result of this.

Learning and Understanding

Last but not least, curiosity results in better learning and understanding. Because curiosity piques your interest, it can actually motivate you to learn more and improve your understanding as a result. The more curious you are, the more you’ll want to learn, and the more you learn, the more you’ll understand. It’s a cycle of positive reinforcement that just keeps on spinning. This cycle will continue to motivate you to learn and understand and will only grow stronger over a lifetime of learning.

How Curiosity Translates to Long-Term Goals

If cultivated correctly, curiosity can translate to the ability to conceptualize and achieve long-term goals. This ability is key to lifelong learning. You see, the drive to want to learn has to start in early childhood education and must continue to be fostered throughout your schooling and into your adulthood and working life. Setting long-term goals comes straight from this, as lifelong learning is something of a long-term goal in and of itself: A goal to continue to grow and strengthen the mind with knowledge for years to come.

How to Cultivate Curiosity

If you’re curious about cultivating curiosity for a lifetime of learning, there are a handful of different ways you can do this in your daily life. With just a few small changes, you can cultivate curiosity with the people, the places, and the things that already make up your daily routine — just with a few helpful additions. These tips below will help you to do exactly that, and with relative simplicity to boot.

Use Your Physical Space

Above all else, to cultivate curiosity you need to make the most of your physical space. BFX Furniture can help with this. Simply put, curiosity is stimulated by your physical space and promoted through stimulating environments. By creating an interconnectedness between pedagogy and space, you can effectively cultivate curiosity for a lifetime to come. Browse BFX Furniture‘s extensive collection of curiosity-enhancing desks, chairs, and other fixtures to see this concept in action.
 

Use Products That Trigger or Support Curiosity

Beyond improving your physical space, you can also use products that trigger or support your curiosity. From flexible products to products with interesting and engaging elements to products that facilitate curiosity, these objects can greatly increase your ability to cultivate curiosity. Interesting colours, textures, and shapes can help, too. As you can see, it’s not enough to just have the right physical space — you need to fill that space with the right products, too.

Use Products That Provide a Safe Feeling

Beyond the utilization of your space and the integration of products that facilitate curiosity, it’s just as important to bring in products that establish a safe feeling by supporting the task at hand. Whether you’re a student, an employee, a teacher, or someone who works from home, it’s essential to use products that make you feel safe to explore your curiosity. Without a familiar environment to explore your curiosity in, you can’t enter that all-important headspace to be curious to learn something new in the first place.

Be Creative

Creativity is another way to cultivate curiosity. From writing to drawing to reading and everything in between, curiosity often requires creativity. Not to mention, curiosity also requires a safe environment to be creative in. This environment could be a designated room in your home or school, or even something as simple as a specific corner of a room. No matter what, though, it’s clear that a safe environment allows people to take creative risks with their curiosity.

Collaborate

Last but not least, cultivating curiosity requires space and objects that foster collaboration. When students or staff are curious, they can learn a lot from their peers’ knowledge and perspectives. In this collaborative environment, they stop seeing each other as competitors and start seeing each other as equals. In this moment, curiosity brings people together and is cultivated in each and every person as they learn from one another together.

The Bottom Line: Cultivating Curiosity for Lifelong Learning

Curiosity is an essential part of the lifelong learning process. For this reason, it’s key to have the right kind of products and furniture to help cultivate that curiosity. If you’re looking for these kinds of products and furniture to bring curiosity to your creative, educational, or professional space, look no further than BFX Furniture. From desks to chairs to storage solutions, BFX has all you need to cultivate curiosity for a lifetime of learning.

About Connie Glover

Connie Glover has over 20 years experience working with leading educators & space designers. She specialises in creating agile work and learning spaces that maximise productivity, boost learning outcomes and promote innovation.
 
She is currently working as General Manager of Product & Market Development at BFX Furniture.

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