Can kids net-map?

I don’t know. A colleague asked me the other day: Have you ever tried this out with kids? Honestly, I haven’t and in my current life situation, I am not surrounded by any children in a suitable age range to use as guinnea pigs. Though I would love to. And I am convinced that teaching network thinking and network tools is something that kids can benefit greatly from. So, I will approach this idea like most things that I want but don’t really know how to get to: I will think about it, keep wishing for an opportunity and discuss it with everyone who will listen…

4 Responses

  1. I’ve been meaning to try using net-map with children. I suspect that some do this intuitively. For example, when they are trying to get their parents to say yes to something. One parent says, “I don’t know, ask your mother, let’s see what she says”. The child goes back and forth between the parents figuring out how to negotiate with each one.

    I did this quite a bit as the youngest child of a large extended family. I had lots of grown ups to go back and forth from, to figure how to get what I want. 😉

  2. Dear Ji-Young,
    You are right, the activities of “dealing and wheeling in networks” are definitely known to most kids. But what would it mean for them to draw networks. Would they enjoy it? Would they learn something from it? Would we learn something from it?

  3. I have several opportunities to try it out. One involves a single infrastructure, another involves a pretty big grass roots network of many infrastructures.

    I think I’ll try net-map maybe with 4th or 5th graders first. Then see if it will work with younger children.

    More details later. Sorry, I haven’t been in touch. But I’ve been swamped with work forming networks and partnerships.

    Talk again soon.

  4. Cool! If you want to discuss your approach more concretely before you start and get some feedback, don’t hesitate.

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