Curiosity in learning

Although curiosity is considered an integral part of learning, researchers and learning scientists seem to be puzzled over what constitutes curiosity and how students can manifest it. The epistemological and ontological aspects of how people learn include curiosity as an integral aspect of leveraging learning as a deep and natural process. Students, especially at young ages are keen to explore, to investigate and to inquire on almost everything they encounter and are perceived as curious behaviours.

Since curiosity is inextricably related to exploration, we may discern two types of explorations: perceptual exploration and epistemic exploration. Research, therefore, focused on whether curiosity is a state (an emotional disposition) or trait (a personal disposition). Researchers such as Jean Piaget explain curiosity as the need of 'explaining the unexpected'. The desire of information in the absence of extrinsic rewards is another perception of curiosity by Markey and Loewenstein.

A curious learner therefore may be described as someone who has an inherent desire and a propensity to explore, investigate and become immersed into unknown situations, that sometimes may even feel as unpleasant, with the aim to assert effort, time and concentration as to become known and familiar.