1. Provide visual prompts around topics that really matter to your students. The visual prompts should respect students’ intelligence and invite a wide range of interpretations.
2. Explain that you’re interested in their thoughts and feelings about what they see … then ask respectful, open-ended, non-leading questions .
3. Listen (really listen) to their collaboratively developed ideas, experiences and solutions. Real listening, as represented by the Chinese letter for ‘listening,’ uses ears and eyes and bodies and heart and mind.
Listening is only ‘real’ when attention is fully present … in other words: undivided. No matter our age, we can all tell when we’re really being listened to, and when we’re not.
Real listening is effortless when topics are interesting, unusual or personally relevant. KIDS’ OWN WISDOM shared-thinking opportunities are always relevant, so real listening is easy and natural for students.
What sometimes takes more practice is getting teachers to really listen – with fully present, mutually respectful, undivided attention.
4. Discover how much young children learn from and teach each other about what really matters to all of them. POWERFUL.