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“Curiosity improves memory by tapping into the brain’s reward system”

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Curiosity improves memory by tapping into the brain’s reward system is the headline of an article in The Guardian about an intriguing new study (Scientific American also has an article about the same study).

I’m not going to go into the details of the research here (you can read the article to find that out), but here’s the “money” quote:

The-findings-suggest

I was also interested in another quote:

Students who took part in the study were better at remembering answers to trivia questions when they were curious, but their memories also improved for unrelated information they were shown at the same time.

I try to tap into student curiosity constantly, and one very simple way I do this is in my United States and World History classes by having them regularly write down questions that they genuinely have about the content we are studying. Then, each week, they choose the ones they are genuinely most interested in and we visit the computer lab for them to find the answers. Next, they make posters which they share with the class to about what they discovered.

One of the reasons the second quote struck me was because my students have to read a lot in order to find the answers to the questions, much which may not be related specifically to their particular question. If this study is to be believed, their retention of that new info will also be improved.

I’m adding this info to The Best Posts On Curiosity.

How do you promote curiosity among your students?

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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