Risk and Our Pedagogical Relation to Children
On the Playground and Beyond
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Shows that "risk" is a valuable and pedagogical experience for children on the playground (and for the adults that share that experience with them) in preparation for the precarious world which children find beyond the playground.
In this thoughtful book, Stephen Smith shows how parents and educators can become aware of the positive value of risk in children's lives and how they can be challenged to take risks that are worth their while. This text is a "how so" much more than a "how to" book. It shows by evocative example and provocative questions how adults can help children mature with confidence and a strong sense of physical competence.
The analysis shows the place, silence, atmosphere, challenge, encounter, practice and possibility of risk-taking. It consistently and conscientiously draws attention to a careful, solicitous manner of being with children.
Stephen J. Smith is Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University.
"This is an exemplary illustration of phenomenological writing! As the phenomenon of risk is opened up through a wonderful sense of questioning and examples of being with children in places where risk shows itself, we are led to encounter ourselves as educators, parents and curricularists. We are nudged to recall our own childhoods and rethink that tensionality between holding back and letting go in the child's experience of taking risks on playgrounds and in other risky places. I like where this journey through the places, silences and practices of risk takes us pedagogically. The author shows children who show us our pedagogical invitation. A pedagogy of risk is a delightful connection. " -- Francine Hultgren, University of Maryland