Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Curious George

The little monkey was always getting into trouble. He’d follow his nose into something interesting and soon he’d be in deep. That’s all I remember from the yesteryear children’s books and cartoons. The very young are more curious than George. Their capacious minds are open, they sense that there is much to learn, and they follow their little noses into the unknown. My best students are childlike (George-like?) in the same way; they are open, humble and curious. I love it when I encounter curiosity in the classroom. This is, sadly but understandably, the exception and not the rule. Most of my students are not actively curious. Curiosity has been wrung out of them by the struggle to fit in, to move on, and to get out. To stand out, to pause, and to get into something interesting is seen as the formula for eggheaded oddity.

Students learn best when their curiosity is piqued, and when they discover somebody else who shares their fascination. As you reflect about your own calling to be a student, I hope that you will experience:
  • awe—for this is really the beginning of wonder
  • meaning—the quest to connect the little things of life to the big and awe-full thing
  • insight—the discovery of the big thing right in the little thing under investigation

Curiosity isn’t monkey business, and it isn’t simply a quirky quality. It is a fundamental attribute of the disciple that wants to honor the Lord with all her mind.

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