I am feeling quietly excited by my new research team! The children of Downshall Primary in Ilford and St Paul’s Primary School in Poynton are helping me to research Celebrating Strengths – in their schools. Together, we are asking the key educational question – does this help us learn better? Does story telling help us learn better? Does a focus on character strengths help us learn better? Do celebrations and learning to play with and enjoy silence, help us to learn better?
We will be engaging in collaborative research – research together, with pupils.
Whitehead and McNiff define research as thoughtful, reflective activity. This week it has been my pleasure to engage in ‘thoughtful, reflective activity’ with primary school pupils. We played ‘silence games’; we set ‘Strengths Intentions’, using thoughtful movement as part of our thinking activity; we listened to, commented on and coached each other as we tried telling a well known traditional story.
And I am always amazed, and always wonder why I am amazed, at the insight, maturity and observational skills that children bring to their learning. They always do this. Often, we don’t give them the time or opportunity to tell us what they think or notice. I have lots to learn in researching with children – and one of the things I need to learn is to listen more and talk less!!
Some quotes from this week, ‘if I think about teamwork when I’m working it helps me share better’; ‘storytelling helps me be more creative’ ‘I think I’ve listened better today’ ‘I learned from this story to think before I do something’ ‘I really liked the Silence game because some people like being quiet’ (he was 5!!!).
I am quietly excited!
Whitehead, J. & McNiff, J., 2006. Action Research, Living Theory. London : Sage Publications .