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A Manner of Speaking Jul/Aug '10

by Bonnie Neugebauer
July/August 2010
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Article Link: http://exchangepress.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5019496/

Wonder. I think about hunkering down with Schon or Zachary to study a bug or stretching out at the beach to watch the night sky with Adam. Or LoraLee’s story about an hour spent playing in a puddle with toddler Ivy. Asking questions, stretching observation skills to the limit. Wondering.

We usually apply wondering to issues around nature, but what happens if we break our thinking open a bit and rather than wondering with children, we wonder about children, about particular children? Wondering about a child requires that we ask questions.

It’s all about the questions, absolutely great questions. This is true in a new situation, an honest self-appraisal, a point of disagreement, a child-assessment. Learning, the really good kind of learning that takes us from one way of being to another, begins with asking powerful questions.

We’re mired in dialogue about assessment. It feels like we are compelled to give summaries, draw conclusions, paint pictures, get to the point " produce something definitive, quantitative, chartable. But really, assessment is about asking questions. And as skilled professionals we learn which questions to ask, which ones will lead us to the information we need to fulfill our responsibilities.

The questions are in our heads, and ...

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