We developed our newest resource, Exchange Reflections, because of requests from the survey we sent to readers like you. You asked for resources to help support meaningful discussions with staff or college students (either in person on online), or to just help you think more deeply about your own work. We’ve been trying to choose thought-provoking article topics that could lead to some “stretch thinking” and perhaps even a debate or two.
The newest two Exchange Reflections, “Reflecting on Risky Play,” and “The Unteachable Moment” certainly ask the reader to consider new ways of looking at adult interactions with children.
Here’s an excerpt from “Reflecting on Risky Play”:
“We have been learning more about the importance of following children’s desire to explore materials in ways that present infinite possibilities…As we work with young children, we must learn from the research on brain development and play…We must ask ourselves, What is our role in guarding and preserving children’s right to play and explore the world? How must we, in our classrooms, act and think around explorations that might initially make us nervous? How can we navigate the demands placed on us as early childhood educators while still fiercely protecting children’s right to play?”
And from “The Unteachable Moment”:
“Excellent, effective educators often notice and tap into the teachable moment — that magical time when something unexpected happens and an unplanned, but fabulous opportunity arises to share a new insight or to guide children in exploration or discovery. A second path to effective teaching — and parenting — especially of young children, lies in honing our ability to also recognize the unteachable moment, when tempers and emotions run hot and things seem to erupt out of control…
No one is above experiencing an unteachable moment. We’ve all been there at one time or another. Learning will not occur while the brain is flooded with cortisol. Accept this and move on to some very helpful things you can do during an unteachable moment:
Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a "Making Commitments" idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.
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