better conversations with children

I liked these statements! … George Forman & Ellen Hall point out:

  • “Knowing children’s interests might help us prepare the environment, but it does not help us have better conversations.
  • Knowing children’s skills might help us think about games to play that might encourage them to practice their skills, but it does not help us have better conversations.
  • Knowing children’s developmental level might help us predict what questions the children can answer, but it does not help us enter into a meaningful conversation with the children.
  • Knowing something about a child’s personality might help us be sensitive about our tone of voice or help us know what topics to avoid, but it does not help us have better conversations.

In order to have a meaningful conversation with a child, we need to know what the child thinks can be done in real situations (possible goals), and we need to know the procedures that the child believes will make things happen (possible strategies). If we have watched and listened long enough to determine the child’s goals and his strategies for attaining those goals, then we have both a resource for understanding the child and an interesting basis for a high-level conversation.” (np)

Ref: George Forman & Ellen Hall (2005) Wondering with children: the importance of observation in early education. ECRP 7(2)Fall (



About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
This entry was posted in early years education, Standardised Testing, Teaching excellence. Bookmark the permalink.

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