Having discussed some of the skills needed to achieve successful Sustained Shared Thinking, I thought it would be beneficial to step back a little to view the whole of the Key Person role, with respect to Sustained Shared Thinking.
Sustained Shared Thinking is the extended conversations between children and adults, or children and their peers. This will be encouraged by using Active Listening (see the blog here) coupled with Positive Questioning.
Sometimes there is a great temptation to quiz children to find out what they know, how they are feeling and what they are thinking. However, just as with adults, this can be very off putting, and actually cause your child to stop sharing their thoughts.
So, how can we encourage Sustained Shared Thinking, without intimidating or scaring the children away?
An essential part of Sustained Shared Thinking is active listening.
This important technique can be the difference between a brief conversation and an extremely valuable episode of Sustained Shared Thinking.
Active listening with children is more than just hearing their words. It is a skill that needs to be practiced.