They have incredible ideas these little philosophers, and their relief at expressing authentic voices and angles is absolutely palpable. Having finally understood that the enquiry is ‘real’, probing and unlimited in its scope a room full of children come alive. School doors open to the world. Kids sit taller, speak more clearly, and become animate and alert. Instead of searching for test paper comebacks and rote responses they begin investigating their own humanity and unique perspectives with enthusiasm. I live for this moment, when children reawaken to their own ingenuity and brilliance. It takes time, but after a while they are far less afraid to make mistakes, the payoff of risking ‘getting it right’ has proved worth it.
Last week Jo’s youngest son experienced exactly this moment:
My 2nd born boy finally drew me a BIG bird…he had kept asking me to ‘trace’ an outline for him to colour in as he didn’t know ‘how’ to draw a bird. He likes to get things right. He demands specificity about what is real and unreal (notice the grass and the sky). After having an older child who never once asked if his take on the world was ‘right’ it just ‘was’, and still ‘is’ (no matter if the sky is green and the tree upside down!)
For my littlest boy to make the leap to put texta to paper to shape his own imagining it was a magical moment of flight for us both.Is it birth order? Is it because his older brother can do it ‘better’? Is it just different personalities? Is it a different way of seeing the world? Whatever it is, after months in the waiting, he loved seeing his bird fly, and oh so did I.