Capturing childrens’ voices. The hurdles.

by Alex from Maybe ( ) Together

In my current work I’m trying to capture the children’s voice and share it with adults through sound recordings.

How to get children to the “poetic” or “empowered” state of being, and to stay there sufficiently so that they can talk from this state.

Sara, my mentor, has provoked me by suggesting I return to this idea of truth. The idea being if I’m truthful and honest, then children will respect that, and it will take them to a higher level of responsbility (empowerment.) I did this, and it kinda worked. I could see the children enter this philosophical state…but then when the children moved into pairs and asked eachother questions (what is happiness? what is love? What is responsiblity?”…it disappeared.

Can we ever tell children “there is no right answer” and for them to believe it? We/They are trained like puppies that there is always an answer. So when I ask them “what is happiness?” they instinctively try to find synonyms rather than look at the bigger picture and find the poetic. (at least in the 8 to 12 yr group)

So I feel I have a few options:
– remove questions, and offer openness. Tell me anything. Tell me a story about stars. About the sun. About the brain. About the tiny dust floating in the air. About a drop of water. About…
– limit the age to under 6.
– forget the idea that the space can create this atmosphere for children, and just conduct group interviews. (maybe create a game experience instead?)
– simply conduct 1:1 interviews
– find a way to break this tradition of right answers, quickly and well.

(i feel an education revolution brewing in me.)