Now now children be nice. Is that nice? No that’s not nice. Now now children be nice…and be kind. Be kind because it feels good to be kind. Is that kind? Please be kind and nice so you can feel good. Sharing is caring. It is good to share. Helping others feels good… so you should do it. Don’t you want to feel good? It is kind and it is good to be nice. Be kind. Don’t you feel good now?
If a child’s way of thinking, and her feelings are respected, the child learns to respect the ideas and feelings of others-
People do not learn from the outside/in, by drill, rules, rewards and punishments.
They learn from interacting with the outside and then processing and building their understanding of it from the inside. And so we see it expressed in the images on this page.
This is called constructivism because the person builds their own understanding of the world in this way.
They construct their own knowledge
A “School Bill of Rights ” created in classrooms is most often misunderstood by adults. One adult I met voiced that she thought it would be great to hang it up and point to the part people weren’t following and this would stop problems. Somehow the unspoken threat of punishment loomed…..
It is not meant to be a list of rules written in stone and extrinsically obeyed or else.
It is anti-bias curriculum and constructivist methodology in motion… a document that supports dialogue, discussion and problem solving around individual and classroom issues, created by children, guided by teachers, for the adults and children in the community to access.
There is no punishment… though punishment is often brought up by the children. However, children learn that they can construct their own alternative system of fairness that evolves and changes with each problem and each person’s developmental growth. Diversity of thinking and perspective is experienced by all.
In this way the seeds of empathy are planted and respect grows.
We all grow. Adults too.
More about the Bill of Rights here: