Sunday, August 16, 2015


One of the hardest things I learned to do in the foundational Cognitive Coaching workshop was to listen.  It's hard to listen without mentally rehearsing what you want to say as a reply.  Dan Pink writes "For many of us the opposite of talking isn't listening.  It's waiting.  When others speak, we typically divide our attention between what they're saying now and what we're going to say next." And to be honest, most of us don't spend a lot of time waiting.  We jump in with our replies without even a pause.

As educators we often talk about how important it is to teach children how to read and write, to speak and listen, and yet most of us don't really put much effort onto teaching children how to listen well. Yet as PYP teachers we should intentionally be teaching listening.  It's part of Communication Skills, as well as Social Skills. For example respecting others involves listening sensitively, and group decision making and resolving conflict also involves listening carefully to others.  Making the PYP Happen states:
A balanced programme will provide meaningful and well-planned opportunities for learners to participate as listeners as well as speakers. Listening involves more than just hearing sounds. It requires active and conscious attention in order to make sense of what is heard. 
Both children and adults need to be taught the value of the pause.  It's during the pause that you think about what you want to say, or what question you want to ask, not during the time you are listening to another person talk.

Photo Credit: oggin via Compfight cc

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