The key to relational evaluation lies in dialogue and collaboration. These are practices of coordination where by the teachers, students, and other stakeholders take part in a relational flow through the arts of inquiring, listening, appreciating, and agreeing and disagreeing.
The Art of Inquiring
Classroom inquiry is typically built around questioning. There are many ways to ask a question, and how such questions are crafted is important to the quality of the relationships that follow. The art of inquiring lies in posing questions that invite everyone into the conversation, and encourage multiple voices and reinforce the sense of we-ness.
The Art of Listening
Listening is proactive participation in each other’s realities. Listening is a form of respect, mutual affection and care. Listening recognises multiple values and perspectives. It invites humility and openness to the diversity of experiences and realities within the classroom, and beyond. Listening can nurture students’ voices.
The Art of Appreciating
We come alive as persons in other’s appreciation. The art of appreciation involves the enlivening effects of affirmation, compliments, commendations, and positive feedback. Appreciation is an integral part of strengths-based practices.
The Art of Agreeing and Disagreeing
Agreeing and/ disagreeing can depend on caring critique, constructive feedback, and meaningful comment. To do so requires a certain form of humility about one’s own realities and values. It can serve as a reminder that all ideas, thoughts and opinions are mere by-products of cultural practices and social traditions. Only in dialogue, can we relate better.
Relational Process characterises education and learning. It is within relational process that learning is meaningful, and we become who we are.
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