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1 - Pedagogies for curiosity and creativity: Children’s learning during exploratory play

Sat, March 23, 8:00 to 9:30am, Baltimore Convention Center, Floor: Level 3, Room 343

Session Type: Paper Symposium

Integrative Statement

As educational pedagogies increasingly embrace the role of curiosity in children’s learning, and not lean solely on instruction, researchers are seeking more and more effective ways to model and measure exploration. Interactions between children and adults in formal and informal learning environments (e.g., school and museums, respectively) provide a diversity of contextual backdrops from which we can better understand how children discover information, especially in novel situations. Because these patterns of exploration look similar to the creative ideation processes, applying creativity assessment methods to the study of children’s exploration seemed intuitive. Our discussion will include the pedagogical implications for curiosity through exploration, and how more dynamic measures of exploration allow for broader investigations of children’s creativity.
Our three studies sought to investigate the associations between children’s curiosity during adult-child interactions and children’s exploratory behaviors. One study revealed that children’s causal hypotheses were more exploratory than those of their parents, and that through interacting with their children, adults became more flexible in their causal learning. The second study found a positive association between child-driven interactions with parents at museum exhibits and increased creativity during open-ended play with toys from a similar domain. Our third study examined how increased rates of curiosity promotion motivated children to explore for more information in the face of uncertainty. Along with the broad perspectives of our discussant, these three studies will provide the foundation for a discussion on how curiosity is influenced by pedagogical approaches and observed through exploratory and creative behaviors.

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