chapter  1
20 Pages

Children and community

My inspiration for this book about listening to children has come from ReggioEmilia-inspired preschools in Sweden. There I have met wonderful teachers, pedagogues and children, who have engaged with me in opening up new thoughts and new ways of being in the world. That experimental openness to engaging with the other is integral to the kind of listening that I want to explore here in this book. Listening is about being open to being affected. It is about being open to difference and, in particular, to difference in all its multiplicity as it emerges in each moment in between oneself and another. Listening is about not being bound by what you already know. It is life as movement. Listening to children is not just a matter of good pedagogy; encounters with others, where each is open to being affected by the other, is integral, I will suggest, to life itself.