The Baha'i Writings and the Child: A Research Website

The Research Process and Use of Materials

This model suggests that there are two moments in the research process:

  1. The first moment: the presentation of a meditation.
  2. The second moment: observing and recording a child’s response, that response not necessarily following immediately after the meditation’s presentation.

To facilitate observation, follow-up materials related to the meditation are created and made available for use. (Note: Lessons in the arts should be given independently of the meditations so that deeper, nonverbal responses can be observed and recorded.)

Concerning these materials Dr, Cavalletti notes the following (From Way of Holy Joy):

The material is also helpful because it allows the adult to know the children – their interests, their rhythm of working – when they are free to act on their own, rather than according to the adult’s expectations of them. 43

The material … an aid in continuing the child’s meditation (usually on a presentation on a Scripture passage … 42

In the very simple material the children find all the elements of the theme (that has been presented earlier) … 42

…in tactile form, made in wood or paper, which are easily manipulated … 42

The material must contain all the elements of the theme presented, without additions which the catechist might consider as embellishments; 42

…the material must be strictly objective, simple, and essential – sober to the point that it could seem poor. 43

Essentiality has been a harder school for us adults – who easily fall into secondary elements – and the road has been long, but worth following. Essentiality led us to objectivity, that is to elimination of personal attitudes in our work with children, such as preferences for certain devotions or personal embellishments, which may be important for us personally but which risk usurping the place of essentiality of the message.   In a certain sense we need to hide ourselves behind the message so as not to obfuscate its force, and to place only the message in the light. It is in this way alone that we will be able to see the force and the power of the Word of God.48

“Embellishments” to the material do not tend to concentrate the child’s attention or bring into clear relief the content of the texts presented, and could be obstacles to direct contact with the texts. 43

The value of the material consists in the richness of the contents, not in the exterior form, and even less in an assumed inventiveness on the part of the catechist. A material about which a catechist could say, “What a great find I’ve made!” is a misdirected material. 43

After the adult’s presentation of the theme, the material is at the disposition of the children, who choose freely what they wish to work with and the length of time they wish to do so. 43


Way of Holy Joy Selected Writings of Sofia Cavalletti

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Publications 2012

Article Contents:

Guiding Quotations