Children learn more by being “allowed” to ask questions and figure things out for themselves. Adopting a coaching approach allows them to become participants in their own learning and motivates critical thinking.
Gabi Immelman, CEO and founder of e-learning platform Mindjoy, shares her insight with teachers and home-schoolers on how to build a coaching mindset in their approach to foster a love of learning in children by making them partners in their own discoveries.
School and home environments sometimes restrict the development of curiosity. Children who ask who asks too many questions are seen as disruptive. The result? We ask children not to ask questions, to be quiet, and to find something else to keep them "occupied".
So how do we keep curiosity alive in children?
1. Be a co-researcher.
Resist the urge to give instructions or answers. Rather ask questions to help the child make connections for themselves.
2. Be an active listener.
Be present, listen and thoroughly absorb and retain what’s being said. Never assume. Always ask clarifying questions to avoid misunderstanding and avoid projecting your view onto your children. Also, pay close attention to the kid’s body language for non-verbal clues.
3. Try to withhold judgement.
When coaching, we need to try not to judge ourselves and others because boxes and labels can warp our thinking. A coaching mindset requires an openness to uncertainty. Being curious even when it is uncomfortable opens up ideas, perspectives, and possibilities.
4. Focus on progress, not perfection or results.
A coaching mindset focuses on progress instead of perfection or results. Progress takes time, and instant gains are rare. The final take-away is this: a coaching mindset is all about framing. If you can frame things to reduce childs’ fear of failure, you cultivate intrinsic motivation as well as their curiosity for lifelong learning.