• Dr. Thom

The Importance of Curiosity to College Success


Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

Have you ever met someone who had an insatiable curiosity? They want to ask every question, read every book, taste every food, and are somehow always the best conversationalists. Their eyes light up when they hear something that piques their curiosity, exclaiming “That’s interesting!” These are the people who must Google something immediately and don’t realize that 30 minutes have gone by in what felt like 2 minutes. They are the people who continue learning deep into life.


They are intellectually motivated to learn, that is their giftedness. This giftedness has a psychological name: motivational giftedness. And this gift is completely invisible to most standardized tests.


The ACT is designed to predict academic skill-based success in the first semester of college, such as algebra and grammar skills; it is not a determination one way or another of other kinds of success. By its very nature, standardized testing rewards some types of academic achievement while wholly ignoring other important aspects of intellectualism like kinesthetic (i.e., physical movement), vocational, or spatial giftedness. Most importantly, standardized testing ignores one of the most important predictors of success in college (and indeed lifelong learning): curiosity.


How are you as a parent encouraging and nurturing curiosity in your children?


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