ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to motivate your children to be open minded and life-long learners?

Updated on May 30, 2013
sriparna profile image

Sriparna is a passionate science educator, loves children and strongly believes and works towards inculcating 'mindful learning' in schools.

What makes some minds open to learning?

I teach Chemistry to the middle school and high school students and also teach the International Baccalaureate curriculum (IB Diploma Programme). So in most of our departmental meetings and lesson plan meetings, we think and brainstorm how to inculcate open mindedness in our students and how to make them inquirers and life-long learners.

Hence I found this question by a fellow hubber very interesting and I want to put down my thoughts in this hub. I would write about the factors which might lead to various people turning out to be life-long learners.


Having a flexible persona

Personality is an important factor as some people are more accepting to learn new things and do not mind learning even from their subordinates, juniors and students. On the other hand, some other people we encounter at various places have a know-it-all attitude; they are rigid and quite closed to others' point of views, they always believe they are right and others are wrong. I'm sure while reading this, some of you are able to relate to these kind of people, they are difficult to deal with and they often do not want to go beyond their way of thinking and see the situation from any other perspective.

So having a flexible persona, being humble and open minded about the fact that there could be better ideas, better solutions, newer ways of solving problems etc. would always make one more open to learning new things. One needs to genuinely feel that learning new things and accepting new methodologies would only lead to a win-win situation, any kind of learning makes both the teacher and learner feel better and enriched.

Curiosity can be aroused very early
Curiosity can be aroused very early | Source

Explorer by nature or profession

Some people, who love exploring - be it various places, sports, food are usually very open to learning because they have inquisitive minds and are always on the look out for new happenings and ideas. They are more embracing by nature and can accept differences easily. These kind of people get bored with mundane life without challenges, they always stretch their limits and try new things and travel in unchartered places. They learn and do not hesitate to share their stories and experiences from which again many others can learn.

Sometimes certain professions demand the need of being open to learning continuously, irrespective of age and gender such as journalism, teachers, medical practitioners and many others. They need to learn new ways, new theories, new inventions in their respective fields and so on, which comes under professional development, but the real learning happens only when one is willingly at the receiving end.

Learning is fun at all points of time
Learning is fun at all points of time | Source

Passion for learning

This, I feel is the most important factor as if anyone is passionate about any field/area, he or she will be self-motivated to learn all the time. From my experience as a teacher, I have seen some students who never used to do very well in school, they have undergone drastic change after they found their niche, maybe at the final school year or right after finishing school, they are doing extremely well for themselves. Learning anything, as much as you learn, you will still learn only the tip of the iceberg, so the unquenched thirst to learn more, know more, meet more people, gain more experience is something which comes automatically when the intrinsic passion or willingmess is there within. Any knowledge acquired under pressure does not lead to the best learning outcomes.

Give a learning environment to your kids so that they are open to learning throughout their lives
Give a learning environment to your kids so that they are open to learning throughout their lives | Source

Congenial learning environment

The environment in which a child grows in his/her early years is very much responsible in turning them into life-long learners. His/her teachers and parents play a vital role in creating the curiosity within the child. They should motivate the younsters to acquire knowledge by themselves, create opportunities for new experiences, allow them to make mistakes and learn from the mistakes, allow them to mingle with society and encourage hands-on and minds-on experiential learning. This goes a long way to keep the child interested in things around him and the brain continues to engage in active learning even when they grow up.

Learning based on multiple intelligences

Prof. Howard Gardner (professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education) has identified 8-9 intelligences which human beings might have such as linguistic, logical, spatial, inter and intrapersonal, musical and so on. I feel very strongly that if we have some of these intelligences prominent in us, that means if we are inclined to do better in some areas of learning, naturally we will be more interested to learn in those areas.

To sum up and my own experience

While summing up, we might conclude that inherent intelligence and environment ensures open-minded learning, this in turn generates passion towards learning, some people turn their hobbies into profession and continue learning.

I consider myself a life-long learner: Apart from teaching and researching profession, I always find time to explore something new. One of my favourite learning accomplishments is that I had learnt Japanese language while I had spent some time there. I could converse with the localites and secured 98% marks in JLPT level 3. Learning about a new culture, new language, their grammar and script was challenging but highly interesting, I feel good that I had discovered a new dimension in myself and I could stretch my mind in a new direction.

If you keep yourself open to learning irrespective of age and circumstances, you'll only reap benefits .............. you don't need to pay any tax and it remains all yours and multiplies even more on sharing.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • shampa sadhya profile image

      Shampa Sadhya 

      6 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Voted up, useful and beautiful!

      Whoever forgets the fact that one must keep on learning must read this hub. Very nicely presented. Your ending lines are fabulous and it reflects your ability to draw attention to what you say. Simply, wonderful!

    • sriparna profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from New Delhi

      @ Jill Miceli: Thanks for your comments. Yes continued learning enhances confidence and one always feel proud when he/she learns a skill on his own and not under any pressure.

    • sriparna profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from New Delhi

      Thank you so much for your lovely comments. So nice to know about your daughter, I'll give her example to my students.

    • Jill Miceli profile image

      Jill Miceli 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I am a big believer that you can teach a child or even an adult to love learning. So much of it depends on a person's confidence and feeling that they are able to still learn. It is a fascinating subject, thank you for writing this hub.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Very interesting Hub, from the perspective of one who deals with learning all the time. I consider myself a lifelong learner too, but am being tested lately trying to learn the finer points of Word, and next comes the dreaded Excel. We shall see how open my mind is then.

      My daughter got an IB degree/diploma in high school a few years ago, went to college, majored in Sociology and works now as a Web Content Specialist for an infra red Camera manufacturer, and still learning all the time.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)