In her contribution, “Conveying Genuine Interest in What Children Think and Do,” in the July/August issue of Exchange, Diane Trister Dodge from Teaching Strategies LLC, observes…

“From birth, young children are learning about the world around them and attempting to make sense of what they see and experience.  They need adults who first and foremost protect, love, and meet their basic needs, and who are genuinely interested in what they think and do.  What makes working and living with children so fascinating and rewarding is our ability to delight in the everyday discoveries that enchant a child: to listen, probe, reflect on, and stand back or respond in ways that show them their ideas and interests matter to us.

“Watch a scientist at work as a toddler places an acorn on a slide, runs to retrieve  it, and repeats the experiment over and over.  Find out what is behind the thinking of a preschooler who groups a pig with a cup in a classification task.  When she replies, “Well, I’m not really sure if a pig gives milk, but if it does, it needs a cup to put it in,” you have a starting point to help her extend her knowledge.  The more we convey our genuine interest, the more likely children are to share what they think and to become confident, creative thinkers.

Do we really want the children to be creative thinkers?  We say this over and over, but do we support them ? Are we ready to face all that comes with creative thinking?