Talking Circles: Building Relationships with Children
Talking Circles can be used to build relationships. They are based on thinking about learning as a process of self-awareness and community building, and providing opportunities for communicating with children about their ideas and perspectives. The process is underpinned by the notion of generative listening (Scharmer, 2009) - listening to oneself, listening to others, and listening to what emerges from the group or collective. This paper discusses the method and findings from an Australian action research project with children in school-age child care (SAC) services and undergraduate university students specialising in child and family studies. The project was formulated to examine how children could be encouraged to ask questions about how they can make a difference for themselves, each other and their community. The authors devised a conversational process that the students implemented with small groups of children in their field education sites. Through the process of listening to and talking with one another, children collaborated and established relationships with each other and the adults involved. Data were gathered about the children's topics of conversation and the university students' experiences of facilitating the conversations. The findings illuminated thinking about knowledge and skills required for relationship building between the adult and children and between children.
Communities, Children and Families Australia
Social Work not elsewhere classified