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Teaching: Trusting to listen

Hobson, J. (2001) Teaching: Trusting to listen. In: HERDSA 2001 Learning Partnerships, 8 - 11 July 2001, Newcastle, NSW

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The paper proposes that listening and trust are key elements for successful teaching and suggests two strategies for improving the listening skills of teachers. To facilitate a growth in understanding, which includes the transformation of information through the learners’ interpretation into knowledge, involves the teacher in a process of listening. Listening is a gift that teachers can offer to students. In the process of listening the teacher is vulnerable and enters into a relation of trust with the student. Without trust the pedagogical relation is closed off to possibilities. Four aspects of deep and intense listening are developed as internal listening, inclusive listening, critical listening and listening for silence. Internal listening is a process of perceiving one's inner world of thoughts and emotions without judgement. Listening inclusively refers to listening for the experience of the other. Listening critically involves examining statements in terms of gender, race, class, cultural and historical location on the premise that context informs all knowledge. The pedagogical relation is enriched when teachers listen deeply to students and it may then be possible for both to begin to hear ‘silence’. Listening for silence enhances the art of questioning. Genuinely posing a question is an extraordinarily powerful experience and asking a question with an attitude of receptivity towards the answer is a rare event.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: Teaching and Learning Centre
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