Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Problem with Telling or Talking

In response to inappropriate behaviors in a school ,a teacher suggested that teacher and school expectations of kids should be voiced more often and with more concern.

Telling a kid that his behavior is unacceptable or inappropriate sounds more like a cliché and pretty vague. We need to be more specific and detailed.

Kids already know that their behaviors are unacceptable but are most likely lacking the skills demanded of them  or  lack commitment to the underlying values.

Instead of telling kids your behavior is unacceptable,  it would be better to get their input at what is getting in their way or at least helping them reflect on how the behavior is impacting on others.

Telling kids or talking to them does not help much. The reason is that we are doing the talking.

The renowned educationalist Deborah Meier said that teaching is essentially listening and learning is essentially talking. The same goes for socio-moral learning.

We need to LISTEN and at most direct the conversation with dialog questions to get input from kids about what is getting their way, help them  articulate their concerns  and reflect on the impact of their behavior on others, the type of person I want to be and come up with a better plan.

The problem with telling or talking is who is doing the telling or talking ! 

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