Our image of the child...

We hold an image, strong and optimistic about the child, who is born with many resources and extraordinary potential. We value the child as strongcapable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. We see all children as capable and worth listening to.

Why the image matters. 

by Kristin Redington Bennett, PhD, Founder

Do you remember hearing the phrase, "A child should be seen, but not heard."? How would that image of a child translate into how parents parent, how teachers teach, how society interacts and supports children?  What people believe, understand, and assume about the role of children in education and society includes how people think about children’s capabilities, development, motivations, purpose, and agency. Perhaps this view worked in agrarian or early industrial societies when children were seen as 'able hands'. 

In modern first world countries, however, we no longer have children to add to the number of hands available to work, or to propagate the  species for survival.

We have children because we WANT children, we want the JOYFUL experience of nurturing, supporting, and growing a small human into an adult. Thus, the image of the child is very important. What does our world look like when we view children as:

  • Full of potential

  • Capable

  • Strong

  • Resilient

  • Worth listening to?

What, then, does that translate into our image of the adult/parent/teacher in relation to these capable children? To me, it translates into being guides on the side, supporting, advocating, and listening. THIS is the foundation of ILLUMII.