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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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    Aug 22 2011: My mother runs a daycare out of our home, and probably the biggest challenge with the children is their listening skills. You can tell them something and they simply will not have any idea of what you had said a minute before. Perhaps they are just rude, but I doubt it, they most likely haven't acquired a good listening skill yet.
    Listening is a skill; an art. It is so valuable, that human life depends on it. Children should be taught proper listening skills in pre-school and kindergarten. Not only will this help them academically, but socially as well. Listening is clearly associated with problem solving and being able to retain knowledge.
    Everybody needs to know how to listen. In a world crisis, which is quite possible, people will need to be able to listen and understand simple commands like "quiet"! An 8 year old child should know to listen to adults, because one day, if their country is being invaded, or life is being threatened; when somebody puts their forefinger to their lips and says "shhhhhh" you need to listen or else you and everybody else is dead. Listening is a vital and effective defensive mechanism.
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      Aug 23 2011: I agree with your first two paragraphs. However, I think listening first needs to be learned AT HOME....but to be honest,parents often do not really listen to their children as they are too busy to stop what they are doing to look their child in the eye and listen to them'; or they are too busy multi-tasking and then really just hearing them. Howeverf, this "listening problem" has been around for decades and maybe even centuries, but now I think more and more parents (and any relatives in the family, really), are not always listening to each other due to technology. And to answer the OP's question, yes, we should teach listening or continue to teach it in school, but unless it it reinforced in the home, it iwould be for nothing.

      Now in regards to your last paragraph... isn't that a bit dramatic???? YIKES!!!!
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        Aug 23 2011: I agree that it does need to be taught at home as well; and it seems as though parents aren't facing that responsibility. As far as the last paragraph, it could be written into a screenplay :] however it is quite likely that something quite like that could happen. I mean, look at history. Had children not been strong enough or had the skills to survive, far more people would have died in the Holocaust, Israeli Conflict, Genocides in Sudan. Listening is a survival skill.

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