Friday, 17 August 2012

The power of conversation

We use a lot of different resources (hence this blog!) in our everyday life and learning journey but today, as I was driving with the boys to a science park (and Reuben was chatting away, trying to make sense of how rainbows are made), I realised that probably the most important thing of all is all the talking we do, all the trying to make sense of things. Sometimes I know the answers and sometimes I don't but it is when we talk things through that the boys vocalise their thoughts, pull things together, realise when something doesn't make sense, ask more questions, we might then search for things in Google and talk some more, experiment and still talk some more. It's a real conversation, not an adult imparting knowledge on a child, I feel.

I enjoy this process enormously but it also makes me quite sad for the child I was, my experience of being in school meant that I was silenced for all the hours I was there (and at home too as homework could not be questioned either), there were no conversations, no trying to make sense of things together, just a dumb acceptance of what the teachers said and unpleasant consequences if any questioning did arise (I still remember refusing to kill any insects for a science project... my teachers weren't happy...).
I often look at the boys and all the joy they get out of learning and think about how important human relationships and respectful communication are to the acquisition of real, long-lasting knowledge, the power of conversation indeed!

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