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The Intellectual Virtues: Curiosity

Lisa Eekhoff| September 19, 2019

Only Passionately Curious

A recent study out of England shows that, on average, young children ask nearly 300 questions per day, or over 105,000 each year.

“On average, young children ask nearly 300 questions per day.”

This staggering number leaves us with no doubt that humans have been created with an innate, insatiable desire to know and understand more fully.  Curiosity is God-given and is essential to education, as growth would be virtually impossible without it.

Intellectual curiosity is foundational to all of the other virtues.  It drives us to know truth, to understand the universe and our place in it, and to more fully grasp the mind and heart of God. 

Practicing this virtue is really more a matter of nurturing the natural curiosity with which we are all born. To that end our teachers model good question-asking for our students and encourage them to make a habit of asking their own, pushing them to go beyond their initial ideas to something deeper and more meaningful. Creative questions can lead to unexpected and useful insights.

And the type of questions we ask does matter, not just the “what” and “who” but the “how” and “why”.

“It is our desire to foster inquisitive minds and then present our students with the tools to satisfy that curiosity.”

We are not satisfied with simple answers, but take the road less traveled in seeking out challenging and ultimately more fulfilling intellectual exercises.

The familiar saying tells us that “curiosity killed the cat.” But many do not remember the rest of the rhyme, that “satisfaction brought it back.” It is our desire to foster inquisitive minds and then present our students with the tools to satisfy that curiosity.

About the Author: Lisa Eekhoff is the principal at Covenant Classical School in Naperville, IL.

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