A child’s interest in their studies, can likely be attributed to one of 3 factors. 1) A child’s intrinsic drive for learning and knowledge. 2) A parent’s interest, focus and influence on a child’s engagement with their studies or 3) A teacher’s impact and ability to cultivate the child’s awareness and understanding of the importance of learning.
Some children are innately curious. Especially in the Early Childhood foundational years. They ask thousands of questions, because they genuinely want to know the answers. Unfortunately, they are sometimes ignored or discouraged from asking such questions, as not to become a bother to others. If this occurs, students will likely not develop a greater appreciation for their studies.
A child is more likely to have a greater appreciation for his/her studies, if education is valued in the home. This may be demonstrated by a child being allowed to engage in open dialogue and inquire about any topic of interest. If the parent assists the child with finding an answer, this shows the child that his ideas are valued. Children are constant seekers of attention and rewards, and thrive upon receipt of positive affirmation. Creating a print-rich environment, and playing educational games may enhance a child’s interest in his/her studies. Children who acquire an appreciation for learning, and attain requisite skills prior to entering school likely find the academic environment less intimidating and more rewarding than children who lack such exposure.
Once in school, learners develop an understanding of the expectations for learning. Good teachers instill in them, the value of doing well, trying your best and working hard. Great teachers instill in them, a growth mindset… which teaches them that are capable of far more than they think. These teachers provide an environment that is safe for risk taking and mistake making. Students are taught that failure is one step in the learning process, but so is success. Both have value and neither makes you better or less than another person. Students quickly discover that learning is in the journey, not the destination. They begin to think critically, problem solve, experiment, explore, create and design.
Moreover, the best way to ensure that a student has interest in his/her studies is to ensure that they have ownership of their learning. Students should be taught that they too, have a role in their own success. By organizing, planning, goal setting and monitoring their own growth and progress…students begin to experience self-confidence and self-driven success. When a child is accustomed to experiencing success, success becomes an expectation…and they want it more…and more…and more! The more successes the child experiences, the greater his/her interest level in his/her studies.