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How To Talk So Kids Can Learn
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How To Talk So Kids Can Learn [Format Kindle]

Adele Faber , Elaine Mazlish
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Chapter 1

How to Deal with Feelings That Interfere with Learning

It was the memories of my own teachers -- both those I loved and those I hated -- that made me decide to become one.

I had a long, mental list of all the mean things I would never say or do to my students and a clear vision of how infinitely patient and understanding I would be. All during my education courses in college, I held on to my conviction that I could teach kids in a way that would make them want to learn.

My first day as a "real" teacher came as a shock. As much as I had planned and prepared, I was totally unprepared for these thirty-two sixth graders. Thirty-two kids with loud voices, high energy, and powerful wants and needs. Halfway through the morning the first rumblings began: "Who stole my pencil?!"..."Get out of my face!"..."Shut up. I'm tryin' to listen to the teacher!"

I pretended not to hear and went on with the lesson, but the eruptions continued: "Why do I have to sit next to him?"..."I don't understand what we're supposed to do."..."He punched me!"..."She started it!"

My head began to pound? The noise level in the room continued to rise. Words of "patience and understanding" died on my lips. This class needed a teacher who was in charge and in control. I heard myself saying:

"Cut it out. Nobody stole your pencil."

"You have to sit next to him because I said so."

"I don't care who started it. I want it ended. Now!"

"What do you mean you don't understand? I just explained it."

"I can't believe this class. You're acting like first graders. Will you please sit still!"

One boy ignored me. He left his seat, walked over to the sharpener, and stood there grinding his pencil to a nub. In my firmest voice I ordered, "That's enough! Sit down right now!"

"You can't make me do nothin'," he said.

"We'll talk about this after school."

"I can't stay. I ride the bus."

"Then I'll need to call your parents to get this settled."

"You can't call my parents. We don't got no phone."

By three o'clock I was exhausted. The kids burst out of the classroom and spilled out onto the streets. More power to them. They were their parents' responsibility now. I'd done my time.

I slumped in my chair and stared at the empty desks. What went wrong? Why wouldn't they listen? What did I have to do to get through to these kids?

All during those first few months of teaching, the pattern was the same. I'd start each morning with high hopes and leave every afternoon feeling overwhelmed by the drudgery and tedium of having to drag my class through the required curriculum. But worse than anything, I was turning into the kind of teacher I never wanted to be -- angry, bossy, and belittling. And my students were becoming increasingly sullen and defiant. As the term wore on, I found myself wondering how long I could last.

Jane Davis, the teacher next door, came to my rescue. The day after I poured my heart out to her, she stopped by my room and handed me her worn copy of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk. "I don't know if this will help," she said, "but the skills in this book saved my sanity with my own kids at home. And they sure make a difference in my classroom!"

I thanked her, put the book in my briefcase, and forgot about it. A week later I was lying in bed nursing a cold. Idly I reached for the book and opened it. The italicized words on the first page jumped out at me.

Direct connection between how kids feel and how they behave.

When kids feel right, they'll behave right.

How do we help them to feel right?

By accepting their feelings!

I lay back on my pillow and closed my eyes. Did I accept my students' feelings? In my head I replayed some of the exchanges I'd had with the kids that week:

Student: I can't write.

Me: That's not true.

Student: But I can't think of anything to write about.

Me: Yes, you can! Just quit complaining and start writing.

Student: I hate history. Who cares what happened a hundred years ago?

Me: You should care. It's important to know your country's history.

Student: It's boring.

Me: No, it isn't! If you paid attention, you'd find it interesting.

It was ironic. I was the one who was always preaching to the children about the right of each individual to his or her opinions and feelings. Yet in practice, whenever the kids expressed their feelings, I dismissed them. Argued with them. My underlying message was "You're wrong to feel what you feel. Listen to me instead."

I sat up in bed and tried to remember. Did my teachers ever do that to me? There was that one time in high school when I was stricken over my first failing grade and my math teacher tried to give me a pep talk: "There's nothing to be upset about, Liz. It's not that you lack ability in geometry. You just haven't applied yourself. You have to make up your mind that you're going to do it. The trouble with you is, your attitude is bad."

He was probably right, and I knew he meant well, but his words left me feeling stupid and inadequate. At one point I stopped listening and watched his mustache moving up and down and waited for him to finish so I could get away from him. Is that what my students felt about me?

Over the next few weeks I tried to respond more sensitively to my students' feelings, to reflect them accurately:

"It's not easy to choose a topic you want to write about."

"I hear how you feel about history. You're wondering why anyone would even care about what happened so long ago."

It helped. I could see immediately that the kids experienced the difference. They nodded, looked me straight in the eye, and told me more. Then one day Alex announced, "I don't want to go to gym and no one can make me!" That was enough. I didn't hesitate for a minute. In icy tones I answered, "You will go to gym or you will go to the office!"

Why was it so hard to acknowledge kids' feelings? At lunch I asked that same question aloud and told my friend Jane and the others at my table what I'd been reading and thinking about.

Maria Estes, a parent volunteer, sprang to the defense of teachers. "There are so many children to teach," she said, "and so much to teach them. How can you expect yourself to worry about every little word?"

Jane looked thoughtful. "Maybe," she said, "if the adults in our lives had worried a little about their words, we wouldn't have so much to unlearn today. Let's face it. We're products of our past. We speak to our students the way our parents and teachers spoke to us. I know, even with my own kids at home, it took me a long time to stop repeating the old script. It was a big step for me to go from 'That doesn't hurt. It's only a little scratch' to 'A scratch can hurt?'"

Ken Watson, a science teacher, looked baffled. "Am I missing something?" he asked. "I don't see that it makes much difference."

I thought hard, hoping to come up with an example that would let him experience the difference for himself. Then I heard Jane say, "Ken, imagine that you're a teenager and that you'd just made the school team -- basketball, football, whatever."

Ken smiled. "Soccer," he said.

"Okay," Jane said, nodding, "now imagine you went to your first practice session, filled with enthusiasm, and the coach called you aside and told you that you were cut from the team."

Ken groaned.

"A little later," Jane continued, "you see your homeroom teacher in the hallway and tell her what just happened. Now pretend that I'm that teacher. I'll respond to your experience in a number of different ways. Just for the heck of it, jot down what the kid inside you feels or thinks after each of my responses."

Ken grinned, took out his pen, and reached for a paper napkin to write on.

Here are the different approaches Jane tried with him:

Denial of Feelings

"You' re getting yourself all worked up over nothing. The world isn't going to come to an end because you didn't make some team. Forget about it."

The Philosophical Response

"Life isn't always fair, but you have to learn to roll with the punches."


"You can't let these things get you down. Try out for another team."


"Why do you think you were dropped? Were the other players better than you? What are you going to do now?"

Defense of the Other Person

"Try to see it from the coach's point of view. He wants to produce a winning team. It must have been tough for him to decide who to keep and who let go."


"Oh, you poor thing. I'm so sorry for you. You tried so hard to make the team, but you just weren't good enough. Now all the other kids know. I'll bet you could just die of embarrassment."

Amateur Psychoanalysis

"Did you ever consider that the real reason you were cut from the team was that your heart wasn't in your playing? I think that on a subconscious level you didn't want to be on the team, so you messed up on purpose."

Ken threw up his hands. "Stop! Enough. I get the idea."

I asked Ken if I could see what he had written. He tossed me the napkin. I read it aloud:

"Don't tell me how to feel."

"Don't tell me what to do."

"You'll never understand."

"You know what you can do with your questions!"

0 "You're taking everybody's side but mine."

"I'm a loser."

"That's the last time I'll ever tell you anything."

"Oh, dear," Mafia said. "A lot of those things that Jane just said to Ken sound like what I say to my son, Marco. So what could you do instead?"

"Acknowledge the child's distress," I answered quickly.

"How?" Maria asked.

The words wouldn't come to me. I looked to Jane for help. She turned to Ken and fixed her eyes upon him. "Ken," she said, "to find that y...

From Publishers Weekly

A communications primer for parents on encouraging their child's learning ability.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 13727 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 272 pages
  • Editeur : Scribner (30 juin 2008)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001E1OYYW
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°105.304 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 un livre de pédagogie... pédagogique ! ... 16 septembre 2007
Par cecile
... ce qui est suffisamment rare pour être précisé ! C'est avec émotion que j'ai retrouvé ce livre qu'une collègue m'avait prèté lors de ma première année d'enseignement en 2001. Je le trouve toujours très intéressant, avec beaucoup d'étude de cas CONCRETS, des trucs qui marchent, des fiches détaillées de stratégies à appliquer pour résoudre les conflits en classe, parler aux parents, aider les enfants démotivés... Cependant, le côté 'punir-po-bien'/'parler-sans-punir-bieeeen' me gêne un peu maintenant (peut-être suis-je devenue une vieille prof réac), et une fois la batterie de solutions proposées dans ce livre épuisée, j'en reviens à la bonne vieille punition. Cela dit, ce livre propose de vrais trucs pour éviter d'en arriver là sans conseiller d'être laxiste pour autant. De plus,il se lit comme le témoignage d'un jeune prof inexpérimenté et présente des 'recettes' pratiques qui marchent, le tout est ... très pédagogique (ça change de l'IUFM, les jeunes collègues me comprendront peut-être). Pour conclure, ce livre permet de se remettre en question que l'on soit néotit ou vieux crouton, et de voir l'enseignement et les élèves sous un autre angle, et de mettre en application une autre façon de gérer la discipline.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 un livre pour les pédagogues ou les parents! 5 juillet 2010
Par Rochette
pas toujours facile à mettre en pratique, mais très intéressant, une autre manière de communiquer et de voir nos enfants et élèves, avec plus de souplesse et de respect, envers eux et envers nous!
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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  64 commentaires
144 internautes sur 147 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A 'Must Read' for anyone who works with children 15 août 2005
Par Tracy L. Fortun - Publié sur Amazon.com
I am a Montessori teacher with 10 years' experience in the classroom as well as a parent to two young children. I also teach workshops to parents and teachers based on the Faber/Mazlish books.

Anyone who works with children should use this book as a reference and re-read it every year or two. Not simply because these methods are effective - which they absolutely are, when practiced faithfully - but because Faber and Mazlish promote a style of teaching/parenting that helps a child develop a positive self-image, strong skills of communication, empathy for others, and self-control.

I'm so dismayed to see even a few negative reviews of this book, presumably written by educators. One of the negative reviewers is right on the money: if you are a person who believes that the adult must retain absolute power over children, then this is NOT the book for you. I would also say that if you are that person, then you should STOP working with children immediately.

If, however, your goals are to aid a child in the development of a strong character and to help nurture life skills that will lead to an adult that is confident, capable of making decisions, and excited to learn and explore the challenges of the world: then get this book today.
58 internautes sur 60 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 More of the same from the authors in this excellent series 25 août 2002
Par David Stengle - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book was written in response to requests from educators, some of whom apparently experienced difficulty translating the principles from the authors' earlier work, "How to talk to kids will listen and listen so kids will talk." The writing is clear and the supporting comics are very helpful. Like their earlier works, this is about how to get kids to open up and has useful tips about a variety of subjects. For example, when brainstorming, let them go first so that they are not initimidated by some great suggestion.
As with the earlier works, the ideas apply similarly to adults. I don't think the book is necessary unless one wants more examples applied to primary education. Otherwise, I'd just get their first book.
50 internautes sur 51 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I highly recommend this incredible book 17 février 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
This was a blessing to read! The book offers practical ways to create solutions for problems, how to listen, empathize, and better understand the person with whom you're speaking. As a teacher, I am able to apply this with students of ages ranging from 5 to 15 yrs old, and as a continuing student, I am able to apply communication techniques to others. The illustrations are especially helpful for "review" of the books main focus. This is a simple to read, easy to understand book, with efficient ways to apply knowledge towards MANY people, not only children. I recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in improving their communication skills, interpersonal relationships, and relationships with children. Husbands, wives, teachers, students, THIS BOOK WORKS when applied. I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride when I noticed myself referring to examples from the book, and you can, as well. It's definitely worth reading!
39 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent - A must for educators 24 septembre 2001
Par Ms Diva - Publié sur Amazon.com
I loved this book. It goes along with "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk." In fact, the book uses the same formula and layout. The communication techniques are the same, with different examples which show how they can be used in a school setting. I found the cartoons really helpful and I liked all the great examples. I especially liked all the illustrative dialogues between the teachers in the book; the authors really take the time to explore all the criticisms of their approach and do a good job of refuting them.
The one thing the book doesn't do, because it is so focussed on communication, is really address specific school problems, like students who don't do homework. If that's what you're looking for, this book may not be enough, but the communication skills taught in it are still valuable as part of dealing with such issues. Thus, if you've read the first book you might find it repetitive. If you haven't, and you're a teacher, I'd suggest you buy this one instead.
33 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Every teacher, experienced and new, needs this book! 26 juin 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
After a frustrating first year of teaching at a junior high school, I was about ready to give up the teaching career all together. I picked up this book one evening because I liked the cartoon drawings in it (it looked like it would be fun to read). I couldn't put it down. I learned so many things that I cannot wait to use my second year of teaching. I especially appreciated the chapter on praising children. I never realized what a negative impact that too "straight-forward" praise (such as "You're so smart!") could have on a student. Now I look back when I was a kid, and I hated it when people would constantly say that to me, because I always felt like, "okay, i'm smart....so what?" I thought I wouldn't be allowed to make a mistake. Those types of teachers that would say things like, "oh, don't worry about that assignment/paper/project...you are smart..you can do it," well, that didn't make me feel any better. The best teachers I had were the ones that gave me specific examples of things that I was doing right in class.
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By responding to a students distress with an attitude of concern and an occasional nod or grunt of understanding, we free him to focus on his problem and possibly solve it himself. &quote;
Marqué par 10 utilisateurs Kindle
If we want our students to be caring human beings, then we need to respond to them in caring ways. If we value our childrens dignity, then we need to model the methods that affirm their dignity. If we want to send out into the world young people who respect themselves and respect others, then we need to begin by respecting them. And we cant do that unless we show respect for what it is they feel. &quote;
Marqué par 9 utilisateurs Kindle
As teachers our goal is greater than just passing on facts and information. &quote;
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