Recently the Brain Pickings website ran a “From the Archives” re-run of an article called “Erich Fromm’s 6 Rules of Listening: The Great Humanistic Philosopher and Psychologist on the Art of Unselfish Understanding.” Here’s Fromm on what it takes to be a great listener:
And in the popular book, Really Seeing Children, author Deb Curtis reminds us that one way to be a great “listener” with children is to be a great observer. (Sometimes we need to “listen” with our eyes.) Curtis writes:
“Seeing the significance of what toddlers do requires that I notice the small details that reflect the ideas going on beneath a child’s actions. When I study their experiences, I see that almost everything they do has an important purpose or question – an idea they are pursuing. Cultivating my observation skills is the most useful way to begin to see, value and extend children’s ideas.”
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Through her collection of stories and photographs, learn to suspend your adult agenda to really see children's perspectives and the amazing ways they experience the world. Taking up this practice will bring joy and deeper understanding to your work and life and allow you to engage with children in a more meaningful teaching and learning process.
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