A few months ago I had the opportunity to shadow Shannon Raymond, Marketing Coordinator at Big Red Rooster in Columbus, Ohio. Just one day of learning from this real world perspective taught me so much, but there has been one thing that has stuck with me after all this time: the idea of becoming a curious learner.
It came up in a meeting about how to spark more innovation from within. Shannon’s coworker suggested the idea of encouraging curious learning. That idea hasn’t left my mind since.
As a college student, learning is my life. Whether or not it is my preference changes if you’re asking me before my Monday 8:30 a.m. class…but that’s besides the point. So much information is thrown at us each day that it’s easy to become passive about the learning experience.
Becoming a curious learner means taking control of the educational experience. Seeking out the information that interests you. Taking an inquisitive perspective on what may not in order to make the most of every learning opportunity. Don’t accept “I don’t know.” Instead, make an effort to find out.
It’s all great in theory, but how can you put curious learning to work? It will take a commitment and a change of perspective. This should help to get you started…
The Curious Learner’s Tool Kit:
- A dictionary. Look up every word you come across that you don’t know, even if you have to start with just one day.
- StumbleUpon.com. Now go learn something.
- The Google search app, if your iPhone is currently moving at the same pace as mine is, forget Safari entirely.
- Books. Newpapers. Magazines. Brochures. Anything that will get you reading, and often.
- A journal. You’ll start to come across little things every day that spark your newfound curiousity. Jot them down to delve into later.
- A passport…or a full tank of gas. Get out of your element and travel to somewhere unexpected.
- A camera. Images and vision-setting inspire from the very roots of human nature.
- An outlet–it may be a blog, Twitter, or a more creative approach. Share what you learn and answer others’ curiosities.