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Encouraging the Wisdom of Children
March 27, 2018
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
-George Bernard Shaw

"Recognizing and respecting the wisdom of children can be a powerful force in fostering their holistic development," writes Ruth Wilson, in the book, Cultivating Curriculum in Early Childhood Organizations. She shares five meaningful ways to encourage children’s wisdom:

  1. Listen to children.
    Too many adults have a tendency to jump in and put words to what they think a child wants to say...

  2. Engage in authentic dialogue with children.
    ‘Real talk’ is the basis for authentic dialogue. The discussion in 'real talk' is directed by the interest of all the participants – not just the teacher or a designated discussion leader...

  3. Encourage 'wondering' questions and comments.
    ...The teacher might start a discussion by sharing something he wonders about. After reading The Other Way to Listen by Baylor and Parnall (1978), for example, the teacher might say something like, 'I wonder if stars whisper to each other'...

  4. Encourage and respect imaginative expressions of ideas.
    ...If children know the world in a non-literal, intuitive way, it seems that adults would do well to recognize and hone this way of knowing. We can do this by encouraging children to sing, dance, draw, and paint their feelings and ideas about the world around them.....

  5. Foster a sense of wonder through frequent opportunities for positive experiences with nature.
    ...Children – in their moments of wonder – know the world the way it truly is: more of  a 'gorgeous celebratory event' (Berry, 2002) than an object to be used, manipulated, or studied.

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Comments (1)

Displaying 1 Comment
Spendu Onesmus · March 27, 2018
Windhek, Namibia

Very educative and inspiring topics I read on what I have been receiving. It motivated me to change my strategy in the implementation of the ECD programs in my country, I tap a lot to guide me in training TOTs and community at large. The most interesting part about the topics is how people at times take children for granted I learned a lot on handling children in different circumstances.

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