Hosting Conversations about Questions that Matter
thank you. 'Voice and Choice ' a very interesting and a very apt expression
I am also taking the class and am interested in the value of WCs for children and teens. Can we discuss what you've learned in doing these with youth and how it may be distinctive from working with adults?
Very curious and thank you.
Depending on the age of the students, the role that teachers and other adults serve in the Café can be very helpful. With younger fourth and fifth graders, I sometimes have teachers at tables or close by, not as part of the conversation, but to facilitate a sense of fairness so that all children have an opportunity to speak during each round of conversation. With older students, grades 6 - 8, the adults are on hand to answer any clarifying questions students may have re: process or topic, but remain on the periphery unless needed. High school students handle the Café process extremely well once an issue or question has been framed and the process explained.
Table covering and markers for doodling, drawing, charting the conversation keep students actively involved with the conversation when not speaking. This was a powerful discovery for me. When I first witnessed young students drawing during a Café, I thought it had turned into a massive art project, but soon learned that students were deeply listening to each other. For tactile learners, it's a must.
All in all, Cafés with children and students are energetic and full of surprises. I'm always amazed with the outcome and the potential for students taking action on what they truly care about following the conversation.
Just found these, Don! Thanks for sharing them. Looking forward to integrating the idea into future WCs.
Thank You Donald. A nice gift and great thought starters.