“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” (Mark Van Doren)


Look at the language you use with young children. How does it assist young children in making discoveries about themselves and the world around them? Think about the difference in “telling/teaching” young children things and asking  good questions.  Which will assist in discovery for children and for you? Spend some time thinking about how to ask good questions with young children.   Think about the message you send to children when you ask them to help you understand their thoughts.  You are saying your thoughts are so important, I want to make sure I understand you.

Practice phrases like,

I was wondering…

I think I heard you say…. is that correct?

Would you clarify for me?

Would you explain to the group what you think about…?

What are some other possibilities?

What is your theory on…?

Let me help you think about your …. writing, work, theory

Are you saying….?

I was remembering that you said…

Your thinking is important to me so I want to make sure I understand…

Make note of discoveries- the children and yours.  Reflect on the experiences to evaluate your questions.  Most of all, practice asking questions with young children as a strategy to assist in making discoveries!

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