Cultivating Good Minds: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Educating for Intellectual Virtues

Jason Baehr | Curiosity

Why we love it: Jason Baehr is a philosophy professor who works on how young people develop good thinkers and learners. This comprehensive guide is for educators who want to help their students discover the joy of learning for its own sake. Full of practical suggestions for fostering curiosity inside and outside the classroom.

From page 59:
Curiosity sometimes gets a bad rap. After all, it was curiosity that killed the cat. And, if Curious George is any indication, curiosity is highly correlated with mischief.

While there are ways of being curious that are less than good or admirable, curiosity often is an intellectual virtue. Think, for a moment, about someone whose mind you admire. What is this person’s mind like? How does he or she tend to think? For many of us, the answer will include a tendency to wonder about things, to ask good questions, or to explore new ideas or points of view. These are good descriptions of curiosity. And they underscore the fact that curiosity can be an admirable trait of intellectual character. It can be an intellectual virtue.

Compared with other intellectual virtues, curiosity occupies a special role in the overall economy of learning. As noted above, it is the fundamental motivating virtue. People who are curious are driven to explore and expand their minds.