Much of the conversation about modern education discusses what we as teachers can say or do within our classrooms. Relatively little attention is paid to what we can hear from our students. In this episode, we’ll explore some of the benefits we can get, and improvements we can make, if we essentially talk less and listen more.
First, I talk with Martín Kutnowski, author of “Daring Conversations: Searching for a Shared Language,” about how incorporating popular songs in a music-appreciation course reflects a pedagogy of listening. He warns against closing doors of opportunity when it comes to learning and the cultural problem of student agency. Martín also discusses student expectations (lecture-based courses) and a way to combat that tendency (profound outcomes).
Then we’ll hear from Kris Shaffer, regular contributor to Hybrid Pedagogy. He critiques traditional student-performance rubrics, advocating instead for a holistic assessment method that can be used to help us teach, rather than sort, students. Kris makes an argument for learning how our students work by listening more carefully to them. He then discusses what that sort of attention looks like in the classroom.
From there, I talk with Jonathan Sircy, author of “Faithful Listening,” about his evaluation methods and the focus he requires of himself. He tells us how he carries that perspective into his classroom practice and how “generous” reading has become his standard and his commitment to his students.
The episode concludes with an explanation of how the desire to listen faithfully complicated the creation of an audio version of his article, showing just how difficult—and important—it is to listen faithfully.