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Look what We found! Hearing Children's Theories
Educators, and schools, are often very keen to listen better to children: however there are often many day-to-day impediments; these are many and they include the general culture of education, its organisation and management.
In our coursework we work to tackle all these. another is simply experience - we are unused to doing it.
As adults we need to develop our habits and opportunities to listen and explore our ideas - in order to get nearer to the ideas of the children: this is perhaps the central necessity in 'developing environments of enquiry.'
Here is something for you to look at and try, individually or with colleagues (discussion is of course done better with others!)
At our recent annual development meeting, the Sightlines Members group and Network representatives viewed a short observation and discussed it. We found it a very rich experience, debating our thoughts and different insights for nearly two hours before having to stop for the day.
We invite you to do the same, and - if you are a Sightlines subscriber - you can also read the notes we ourselves made (in the resource library.) Read on to see the clip and the approach we suggest you take for reflection and discussion:
The clip comes from the chapter 'Hearing Children's Theories' in section Meeting the Unknown in Learning to Learn in Nature.
The group of Reception children, during their weekly class time in the woods, were off exploring:
This was our approach as a group to discussing it:
First viewing: Just watch the clip.
After viewing, we had some time to ask questions about background, context etc.
Second viewing: individually we listed the verbs that we saw in what was happening.
We then shared our verbs and made a group list.
Third viewing: We asked,
What concepts are the children exploring? What relationships can you see between them?
Again, we noted our own individual ideas then shared afterwards as a group.
Fourth viewing: What "hats" did we bring to viewing it? What are our agendas / our particular interest?
We found that this approach really helped us to exchange together in a lively way, and unlocked thoughtful insights, and we think that it can be very useful for educator groups who are perhaps new to reflecting on first observations. Do let us know how you get on with this!