Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Open Listening...

Having done my first session yesterday I am sat today reflecting on that experience and at the same time preparing for tomorrow's session.
I will be introducing "schemas" to them and I have brought Chris Athey's book "Extending Thought in Young Children: A parent-teacher partnership" and also Frances Atherton and Cathy Nutbrown's book "Understanding Schemas in Young Children: From birth to three"... to support me when I share the concept of schemas.

Schemas means patterns... patterns of learning, patterns of behaviour and patterns of play...
Check out this online pdf to find out more about  Schemas - it will give you a quick introduction.

For me schemas work wonderfully with my Reggio approach to learning... there is a heavy focus for the teacher not only to observe but to listen openly.

As I was re-reading Atherton and Nutbrown's book I came across the quote about open listening... it seemed relevant to share with you...

"The philosophy and practice of open listening is not just about being nice or tolerant, and nor is it the kind of listening that looks for the repetition and affirmation of the already known... it means opening up the ongoing possibility of coming to see life, and one's relation to it, in new and surprising ways. Open listening might begin with what is known, but it is always open to the understandings one has of self and other, and the relations between them, creatively evolving into something new. Open listening opens up the possibility of new ways of knowing and new ways of being, both for those who listen and those who are listened to. (Davis 2011 "Open Listening")

To listen to children we need to be open.. to see their learning, their ideas and their creativity. Being open is not an easy process, but if we do use open listening with children, a non-judgemental listening... listening to understand and not to answer... then the children will feel the freedom that this allows... a freedom to express themselves and to evolve.

To understand children it is not enough to understand child development... we need to listen - not just hear words... but to listen with ears, eyes, mind and heart.

it is clear from what the course participant said yesterday... that those teachers that were not listening... truly listening, were unable to give the right support to their pupils. They felt neglected, they felt not understood and lacked connection with their learning... learning needs to be joyful and/or meaningful - for the CHILD.

Anyway... I need to get back to my reading...


  1. Dear Suzanne,
    We are learning so much!
    The link is incredible.
    Thank you!

    1. thank you for taking the time to follow the posts and read them, Nona.