Of Note: Plain Speaking about What Matters

Submitted By:
Elizabeth Morley, Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Lab School, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario

When You Wonder, You’re Learning could sit as comfortably in the core collection of classic and truly supportive parenting books as it does in a list of key resources for teachers of young children. To both groups it offers the evidence behind the skills and mindsets that cognitive scientists now consider essential for learning. With fresh eyes on the children of today, as well as their digital-age parents and teachers, authors Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski look back to the beloved TV program, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, to ask what we want our students to become as human beings, and what we need to know and do to support them in getting there. Each chapter encourages a growth mindset about a component of our humanness. In “Curiosity can be taught (and caught)” we are guided through examples of teaching practice in early childhood settings that foster connections between asking questions, offering deep listening, and developing empathy. “What might you do?” sections pose questions and options, always encouraging, never prescribing. Far from offering a slim or soft message, this book carries remarkable gravitas alongside messages we can intuitively hear and hold close. Plain speaking about what matters most, it is practical and inspirational, measured and exuberant. For children and their adults, in families and in schools, this book explains why a curriculum of caring, curiosity, appreciation, and connection will always bear scrutiny and provide value.

Science of Learning
Social-Emotional Learning
Teaching Practice