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With all that is happening in our world today, some powerful words from Lilian Katz, from the book Developing People, seem important to highlight again. Katz outlines fourteen points she believes will be helpful for every early childhood practitioner and ends with this one:
“I really believe that each of us must come to care about everyone else’s children. We must come to see that the welfare of our children and grandchildren is intimately linked to the welfare of all other people’s children. After all, when one of our children needs life-changing surgery, someone else’s child will perform it. If one of our children is threatened or harmed by violence, someone else’s child will be responsible for the violent act. The good life for our own children can only be secured if a good life is also secured for all other people’s children. Where are other people’s children right now? Are they having wholesome, caring, and appropriate experiences? The person who will be our president 60 years from now may be in someone’s three-year-old class today. I hope she’s having a good experience! To be concerned about other people’s children is not just a practical matter — it is a moral and ethical one.”
The Exchange Reflections, “Oral Storytelling with Children,” offers ideas for discussion and action steps to help educators bring back the lost art of oral storytelling to classrooms as a way to help children develop empathy for others. Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., author of the bestselling book, Kitchen Table Wisdom, writes about this idea:
“When I was a child, people sat around kitchen tables and told their stories. We don’t do that so much anymore…Telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along…
In telling them [our stories], we are telling each other the human story. Stories that touch us in this place of common humanness awaken us and weave us together as a family once again.”
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