Communication is not just about words and sharing ideas… it is just as much listening and receiving ideas.
As teachers and adults we are often put in a position where our words
have more impact than the words of children. Through the Eyes of the
Child is a project that will allow us to listen to the children – maybe
in a new way for some.
I have written about listening before The Art of Listening on Interaction Imagination where
I ponder about what listening is and what it means. Philosophy with children is an excellent way
to listen to children and their ideas, and also a wonderful way for the
children to learn to listen to each other too.
When children understand they are being genuinely listened to, it
will encourage them to speak more freely and share their ideas with
I personally work with pre-philosophy – helping children hone their
skills of listening, concentration, creativity, expression etc to be
able to participate in philosophical dialogue. I see taking photographs
as part of this skill building…
Children learn to CHOOSE what the object of their photograph is going
to be, learn techniques about how best to take the photograph and
express their idea through an image – whether this is their idea of fun,
of beauty, of friendship or some other deeper idea that they wish to
When they have taken photographs they will need to make a selection…
which image most represents that idea… they need to compare and explain
their thoughts as to why one photograph is better than another. If this
is a group activity there might be the need to enter a dialogue as to
why this photo rather than another should be selected… will everyone
agree? Will more ideas and alternatives be brought forward that the
children can listen to and learn from and maybe deepen their own
understanding of the ideas… maybe even learning that the same photograph
can represent different ideas depending on who is looking at the image.
It could be that an image that represents the MOST differences of
opinion is the photograph that gets chosen – BECAUSE of the rishness of
the dialogue that ensues.
It could be a fun/good idea to start discussions about photographs…
by selecting a provoking image for the children to discuss, or to choose
two photographs for the children to choose their preferred image and
explain why. This can help the children learn to TALK about the
photographs and also learn to LISTEN to each others’ ideas about them…
Here are some websites about children and/or play to get you and your children thinking...
where children sleep (bedrooms and toys are featured here)
happy children playing around the world
around the world - children and their favourite toys
Here are two photos to get you thinking too (found on pinterest)… it
is just to go online and find images that can get you thinking… to get
the children started in a dialogue.
This is not inspiration of the kind of photographs the children
should be taking, this is JUST a way of practicing COMMUNICATION! It
will be the children themselves that will decide the subect of the
photograph… and afterwards they will need you to LISTEN to what their