New studies have linked curiosity in young children to later academic success.
In a new study by the University of Michigan revealed that inquisitive children are better at math and reading.
Children who have developed a wide range of socio-emotional skills tend to be more successful when they get to school. These skills include the imagination, persistence, attention to task, and ability to form relationships and to manage feelings.
According to Shah, in most current programs for early learning, focuses on improving granular control over children, which involves their ability to concentrate or control impulses.
Very few programs are aimed at nurturing curiosity in young children - a trait which Shah describes as the joy of discovery and the motivation to seek answers to the unknown.
Data for the current study were taken from national representative demographic study that was sponsored by the U.S. Department of education, in the study, researchers followed thousands of children since their birth in 2001.
Their parents were interviewed during home visits by interviewers, and the children conducted the assessment, when they were nine months, two years, and when they enrolled in preschools and kindergartens. In 2006 and 2007 were measured skills of reading, mathematics and behavior 6,200 children.
According to the study, trait curiosity was just as important as teaching reading and math basics. The researchers also emphasize that the relationship between curiosity and academic achievement of the child is not related to gender.
"currently, most of the classroom activities focused on the cultivation of early intensive control and ability to self-control the child, but our results indicate that it should also consider alternative communication, devoted to the importance of curiosity." added Shah.
Researchers have shown that the promotion of curiosity may be particularly important for children from lower socio-economic status of the family. This is due to the fact that children growing up in financially secure families have better access to resources, while children from poorer communities grow up in less stimulating environments.