Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Listening to Young Children: Toward Agency, Equity, and Deeper Learning
Martha M. Foote, EdD

In previous centuries childhood was considered to be at a lower hierarchy in terms of valuing human life and education. Today, the early years are recognized as critical in terms of a child’s learning and learning how to learn. With the goal of deep learning in mind, a recognition that an authentic and deep level of listening to young children by teachers and adults is a readily available strategy and opportunity for schools to support children’s early years of education. This paper provides a case for why listening can be so valuable and how teachers and adults can be more thoughtful and reciprocal with this process. With ongoing opportunities to be taken seriously as they interact and express their thoughts, young children can be afforded experiences to better develop their agencies to think, create, express, connect, and be the kind of deep learner needed to thrive in the world.

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