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Teacher - English, West Virginia Department of Education

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Why should listening be taught as a skill in school?

Julian Treasure proposed an excellent problem in his video about listening. Why isn't listening taught in school? Young adults are surrounded by noise and distraction. Could this be an obstacle to problem-solving and mediation in our world? What do you think?

Topics: education
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  • Jul 31 2011: Learning requires real attentiveness. All day, all around me, I see people who are not attentive, who are not really present. conversations are interrupted by phone calls, by by the compulsive checking of emails. We eat watching television, we drive while texting. How many people do you see in a day walking while looking at some device in their hand? It feels like everyone is somewhere else, rather than in the here and now. Listening requires focus and engagement. Real listening results not only in the acquisition of new knowledge, but in gaining some perspective of the speaker, which is absolutely necessary to mediation. I agree wholeheartedly that listening is a skill that should be taught;that we need to stop and listen in order to process ideas.
    • Jul 31 2011: Well said, Claire. Thank you for your response. All those things are true. I do feel that young people need to learn how to multi-task in order to function in a fast paced, busy society, and technology is also important for growth. However, none of those things should impede the necessity to recognize when it is time to shut everything down and listen, to be attentive and empathetic and (as you so wonderfully put it) present.

      Thank you.

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