I taught college sciences for over 30 years and it exhausted me. Sadly, my students had the curiosity driven out of them many years before they came to me. When I tried to provide them with an opportunity to develop their ability to learn through inquiry based (curiosity building), open-ended, student-centered activities, they rebelled, quit and complained bitterly to me and the administration. And of course, the administration was definitely on their side. I was admonished for not teaching the “objectives” of the course, which were a series of “factoids” about science and very little about how to acquire the ability to direct their curiosity toward acquiring and applying the knowledge to problem solving. Knowledge and curiosity are arcs in an unbroken circle: curiosity leads to knowledge which stimulates one’s curiosity to acquire more knowledge. Both are essential.
The lives of the citizens of this country would be much better in every respect if our educational system would just make an effort to nurture curiosity starting with kindergarten and continuing through college.