WORKING FROM What Matters to Children PRINCIPLES


The principles below inform the ongoing consultancy work of Diane Rich.

Since 2005, and the first edition of the book First hand experience: what matters to children, the What Matters to Children team have worked to define and refine a set of principles that have formed the basis of their conferences, presentations and workshops.
Because of their growing importance these principles are set out in the new edition of the book and appear on page 101.

These principles are an intrinsic part of consultancy work and provoke questions, to stimulate discussion and debate about how to make good use of them.

And here they are:

• The principle that first hand experience is a necessary and significant element in children’s learning.

• The principle that children are active learners who think and feel for themselves, and who use their hands, eyes, ears and their whole bodies to explore the world.

• The principle that children are powerful learners who learn from each other as well as from everything and everyone in the world around them.

• The principle of WHAT MATTERS TO CHILDREN – the four domains of children’s learning - that ensures emotional involvement and intellectual engagement.

• The principle of adult involvement in learning: that educators can provide for, organise for and value children’s learning.

• The principle that educators are people who can think for themselves, individually and together, making choices that will ensure worthwhile learning.

• The principle that children and adults can work together to build a harmonious learning community, with shared memories, principles and priorities.

©Rich Learning Opportunities