DP17601 Nurturing Childhood Curiosity to Enhance Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Pedagogical Intervention
We evaluate a pedagogical intervention that aims to improve the learning quality of elementary school children by nurturing their curiosity. The pedagogy, aimed primarily at science teaching, was practiced by children's teachers for an entire academic year. We test the effectiveness of this pedagogy using objective test scores and a novel measure of curiosity. Our curiosity measure involves first creating a sense of information deprivation, then quantifying the urge to acquire information and the ability to retain information. We find that the intervention increases curiosity, the ability to retain knowledge, and science test scores. The intervention also makes friendship networks a potent tool to disseminate knowledge within classrooms. Our research design establishes the causal link between the urge to know and deep learning. The evidence can help design better pedagogical tools to increase pupil and teacher engagement and the quality of learning worldwide.