Making Room for “Quiet Learning” in Our Classrooms

13 Jul

Having said versions of these sentences multiple times in consultations this month –

  • Engagement is not always demonstrated through acts of speaking.
  • Yes, introverts *and* extroverts benefit from quiet.
  • Teachers need the pause to make connections as well – it’s a win-win.

– it seems time to reblog this post from last fall. With its focus on Quiet Learning, the post links additional posts drawing on the work of Stephen Brookfield.


A year ago we debuted “Words on Wednesday” with posts connected to Stephen Brookfield’s workshop packet supporting “discussion as a way of teaching.”  I wrote that first WOW piece – which appears here – while reading a new flurry of columns on silence in classrooms, which I reported on here as preparation for sharing a set of ideas about making room for quiet in a classroom. Our focus in that post was calling attention to the positive function of silence, and to distinguishing it from silencing classroom practices.

For this year’s launch of WOW posts, we’ve culled three images from last year to focus on cultivating silence as integral to learning early in a semester.

In playing with ideas from the Stephen Brookfield and Stephen Preskill book on teaching with discussion, I began to formalize ways of incorporating silence into class sessions – for reflection, for catching up a bit…

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