I’m making these preliminary comments on the draft framework just to explain my initial thoughts, and now I’ll continue to the third principle which suggests:

  • The process of Knowledges Exchange is based on mutual respect.

It seems obvious doesn’t it? What teacher doesn’t know the importance of respect? However, I have in mind the kind of “unconditional positive regard” that Carl Rogers spoke about.  And that means both ways, between teacher and learner in an exchange of knowledges.

Some will argue that more respect is due to the teacher because it’s assumed that an adult has a greater amount of knowledge. However, the theory here is that there are different kinds of knowledge and if we accept that, quantity may not have a lot to do with it.  What children know must be valued for what it is: precious, ever-changing, fundamental. It is a joy to exchange ideas with a toddler who is discovering the world for the first time because our adult knowledge can be re-discovered and appreciated as though it were new.

Why is it that a Nobel prize winner is respected more than a toddler? Isn’t it because we have concluded that the Nobel laureate has greater knowledge? But doesn’t the knowledge of the children deserve our respect too, especially if they are open to sharing everything?

In what I’m calling the “traditional” model of teaching, people are rewarded for gathering and retaining their own knowledge, and we give prizes on the basis of that. However, Principle 4 which I discuss next, suggests a different approach.