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The Child's World

Triggers for learning

The Child's World
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US$ 42.90
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The title of this book, The Child’s World: Triggers for Learning, was chosen in response to two major beliefs. The first is that young people’s voices seem to be the last to be heard, if they are heard at all, in educational debates. Now, as in the past, the decisions that directly affect the content of their formal learning appear to be made by adults in senior decision-making roles who regard themselves as qualified to decide what is best for the nation and therefore for the children in our schools. As long-term educators, such a position is hard for us to accept. The second belief is the other side of this somewhat sceptical view of educational curriculum designers — our strong faith in the power of young people to make a difference to our lives in new, creative and magical ways, provided we who have the power take the time to hear their voices, observe their behaviours and provide opportunities for their expression in valued and meaningful ways. Over the years, the privilege of working with young people and their teachers in many different settings has reinforced those beliefs. The excellent teachers, or those who would qualify as ‘expert’ by Dewey’s (1916) standards, use the experiences of the children themselves as starting-points to learning. While remaining mindful of the curriculum, these adults recognise that the quality of the communication process is crucial when crossing the bridge from ignorance to competence. These expert teachers share another belief — that the individuals with whom they are engaged are at least as important, if not more so, as the discipline that is to be taught. This is not to suggest that the content of learning is not important: it is, and should be, if we as the experienced adult members of society, charged with the role of global custodians, accept our awesome responsibility to the future of the planet and its people.
Australian Council for Educational Research; January 2000
418 pages; ISBN 9780864313010
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