Friday, 18 May 2007

Listening to teach

This has something to do with it, but I think there's more to it - it's closer to saying, we'll get to the answer together.  Maybe this isn't a very practical approach when you've only got 1 hour ;-)

Listening to Teach

"Taking a listening stance toward teaching is key to reconceptualizing pedagogy that is responsive to students living and learning in a pluralistic democracy."

Katherine Schultz

Listening: A Framework for Teaching Across Differences

In Listening: A Framework for Teaching Across Differences, Katherine Schultz explains that she sees listening as an active, thoughtful practice through which teachers can more deeply understand their students and what they need in terms of the learning environment. She states, "I use the term listening
to refer to more than just hearing. As used here, it suggests how a
teacher attends to individuals, the classroom as a group, the broader
social context, and, cutting across all of these, to silence and acts
of silencing. Teachers listen for the individual voices and gestures in their classrooms; they also listen
for the heartbeat or tenor of the group. ... The phrase 'listening to
teach' implies that the knowledge of who the learner is and the
understandings that both the teacher and learner bring to a situation
constitute the starting place for teaching. Listening encompasses
written words as well as those that are spoken, words that are
whispered, those enacted in gesture, and those left unsaid. It is an
active process that allows us to both maintain and cross boundaries.
When I listen to teach, I am changed by what I hear" (Schultz, pp. 8-9).  THIS BIT HERE - don't think just change in order that you can teach better, surely change because you change together...?

Schultz suggests four kinds of listening that teachers must engage in to truly understand teaching and learning, and to be able to engage all students so they can be successful:

  • Listening to know particular students
  • Listening to the rhythm and balance of the classroom
  • Listening to the social, cultural, and community contexts of students' lives
  • Listening for silence and acts of silencing

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