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“Children learn what they live, what they hear and try to speak, in a context of meaningful, functional use with people who care about them and have confidence that they will learn” (Cazden, 1992, 10-11).

This quote has struck a major cord with me.  I felt an intense need to share this idea with everyone, educators and non-educators alike.  “Children learn what they live” (Cazden, 1992, 10)– isn’t that the truth.  What kind of environment do we create for children?  What kind of life do we provide for them?  Why is hard for someone to move out of poverty?  Why do some wealthy children grow up to feel entitled?  Why do some languages have multiple words for snow while others may have one, or maybe even none?  We all learn what we live.

When educators  think about teaching, they need to think more about the whole world they create- the environment, not just about some skill or fact.  What are we teaching can be pushed aside.  More importantly we need to ask what are they really learning.

Children learn what they live-
from behind the bars of a crib, 
from behind the desk,
from the words spoken at them, & the words left unsaid…

So please take a moment to ponder what kind of world children are growing up in, what they are surrounded by, and what you can surround them with…

To Be Continued…

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