The Kindness of Children
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The Kindness of Children

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  64 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Recounting stories of kindness by children, Vivian Paley's journey takes the reader into the different world of urban London, Chicago, Oakland and New York, and to a close-knit small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Paperback, 129 pages
Published October 2nd 2000 by Harvard University Press (first published 1999)
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Oct 09, 2008 Claudia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: early-childhood educators
I had read this before. Paley's thesis is to let children play. She links storytelling with creative dramatics to the humanizing of children. I struggled to see how I can connect this to my students, since we don't have time in the curriculum to write creative stories, and then enlist the class to act them out. One line made me sad: "Were we kinder in kindergarten?" Maybe.

I would love to translate this, and the creation of genuine empathy, to high school!
It has been quite a while since I have read a book about the education of young children and I wish I had read Ms. Paley's book 20 years ago. It validates what I thought then and what I think now - children, teens, adults, indeed all people have stories to tell and those stories should be listened to with respect. Sharing our stories helps us ground our lives and helps make us human to each other and to ourselves. As we push our children to take tests and practice for tests in school and as we m...more
It's hard for me to write a coherent review about any book by Vivian Paley because I love her books so much. Reading any of her books, for me, is like opening a little window onto exactly the sort of teacher I want to be. Her humility and self doubt, her deep respect and love for her students, her daily moment-to-moment desire to really understand them, to make her classroom a nurturing community for them, the high value she places on imagination, and narrative, and play...every chapter of each...more
So interesting! Glad that I work in a place where imagination, play and community are still integral to the "curriculum."
It was okay. A little to dreamy and over-sweet for me. But an easy, quick read for one of my education classes.
I am going to try this story acting in the fall...interesting.
Really powerful and inpirational
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“Children are deeply curious about odd behaviors and seldom offended or worried by them. What a remarkable gift to bestow on another person, it occurs to me, and so difficult for adults to accomplish.” 2 likes
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