This post was originally published on http://www.marinagijzen.com
Don’t ask a child a question that you already know the answer to.
“The objective of education is to increase possibilities for the child to invent and discover.” (Malaguzzi, The Hundred Languages of Children)
We know that curiosity leads to learning. As teachers, we want to sustain each child’s spontaneous curiosity at a high level. Yet, we kill it slowly, every day.
“What colour is that?” (when painting a picture)
“What is the name of that insect?” (when looking at a bug outside)
“How many blocks are there?” (when building a tower)
“Is 5+6 really 12?” (when looking at a child’s error in addition)
In order to maintain the sense of wonder that children have in discovering, listen to them, observe what they do, and nudge them forward with thoughts, and statements of observation. Enter into the wonder yourself.
“Tell me about your picture.” (when painting a picture)
“Look! The caterpillar is munching on a leaf!” (when looking at a bug outside)
“That tower is tall! I wonder how tall it can get before it falls down.” (when building a tower)
“Can you explain your thinking here?” (when looking at a child’s error in addition)
Therefore, a powerful change to make in your interactions with children is to avoid the temptation of expecting children to give you back what you already know, i.e….
Don’t ask a child a question that you already know the answer to!
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Yes, I just read that yesterday!
Great post !
I love the way you rephrase the questions to form meaningful and authentic conversation. This really allows children to develop their communication skills – not just how to answer a closed question.
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