“The scientific temper points out the way along which man should travel. It is the temper of a free man.”
– Jawaharlal Nehru
The idea of a fast developing country can be realized only when the younger generation has a scientific temper and a rational approach towards making life choices. Children have an innate curiosity to explore, investigate, ask questions and seek answers.
Your child’s scientific temperament is influenced by the environment and the people he or she is with. Therefore your parenting style plays a major part in forming a scientific rationale. Here are some ways in which you can nurture a love for science in your child……
- A pro-science home will encourage your child to make the most of his enquiring mind. Encourage them to ask questions and allow him/her to seek out answers on their own.Guide and direct them to reliable sources of reference like a dictionary or encyclopaedia. Also, let TV time be more for scientific programmes than for entertainment.
- Teach your child critical thinking skills to better their problem-solving skills and IQ. Give your child the liberty to doubt the well-established ideas. Let them use their reasoning and ask questions like, “Is there a way to prove this?”. Teach your child inductive reasoning which means that specific instances can be derived from general principles. Provide them with the knowledge but allow to marvel at mysteries that are yet to be solved.
- Support their experiments. Steer your child away from finding answers on the internet and encourage them to use their reasoning. Cheer them on when they create models or diagrams to explain their understanding. Motivate them to debate on the traditional and unfounded biases and arrive at their own conclusions.
- It’s not only learning, your child needs to study. Avoid using chapter questions when it comes to academics. Pick up books once every few days and ask something that doesn’t have a direct answer in the book.
- Make some learning application-based. The rising of yeast, the metamorphosis of a caterpillar and the sprouting of saplings are some examples of application-based learning that they will enjoy. We live in times when there is a surfeit of knowledge in the form of reading material. Advise extra reading to improve their analysis of information.
- Employ science fun games on your electronic devices. You can add the fun element to your child’s scientific thinking by playing games like chess that help in developing his logical sequencing and strategic skills. Reading comprehension passages not only improve their knowledge but also nurture their scientific temper. Make use of the riddles and brain teasers that are available on your smartphone to encourage their scientific exploration.
Developing a scientific temper takes time and has to be an ongoing endeavour. In a world that is replete with misinformation, uncertainty and flux, your precious child needs to rely on his scientific temperament. This is a strength that will equip him to be an invaluable citizen of the world, regardless of the career path he chooses to embark on.
Scientific temper is a way of life which includes questioning, observing, testing, hypothesizing, analysing and communicating. Freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of minds, which follows from the advance of science. That is the way Forward- Let Science show the way!