This paper introduces the special issue.
This article discusses what a virtues orientation might offer in terms of understanding and fostering good listing in educational contexts.
This article analyzes interpersonal listening, distinguishing between a cognitive (thinking) type and a noncognitive (empathic, feeling) type. Both have important roles in teaching and learning.
This article explores compassionate listening as a creative spiritual activity. Such listening recognizes the suffering of others in ways that open up possibilities for healing and transformative communication.
This article is about reverence, and listening reverently as teachers and educational leaders. The authors argue that reverence is central to the kind of teaching and leadership we need in today's schools and that listening is one of the prime activities of reverence. Thus, they argue that reverential listening is a key component of effective teaching and leadership.
Taking up an issue explored by John Dewey, Austin Sarat, and Walter Parker, as well as many others, I continue my study of the conditions under which people choose to listen to a perspective that challenges their own beliefs.
The author argues that the practice of speaking and listening to "strangers" is at the heart of democratic citizenship education and, further, that schools are fertile sites for this communicative work because they possess three key assets—problems, diversity, and strangers—alongside a fourth: curriculum and instruction.
This article describes several of the possible interpretations for student silence in classrooms and suggests that an understanding of the meanings of silence through careful listening and inquiry shifts a teacher's practice and changes a teacher's understanding of students' participation.
This article argues that listening inevitably involves attention to the social identities communicated through speech, exploring how one high school student was socially identified in a classroom across an academic year.
In this article, we examine the common activity of pretending to listen and argue that thinking about it carefully reveals some important insights into the practice of listening more generally. Then we turn to the question of pretending to listen in the context of teaching: Is it always inappropriate? Is it even avoidable? Does it sometimes serve valuable purposes? Is it sometimes "good enough"?
How can teachers find hope in hard times, when the usual promise of schools for a better future seems difficult to sustain? This article examines Hannah Arendt’s critiques of the dominant understandings of hope that frame schools, and her view of the different understanding of hope that teachers can find by reaffirming the interactive nature of classroom life.
A discussion of the concept of action in the work of Hannah Arendt shows how its scope reaches further than Arendt was prepared to allow, into the shared world. Education is part of this world and also a preparation for it.
This article explores the concept of world estrangement in Arendt’s analysis of the crisis in education. I explain what Arendt means when she contrasts an education for the world with an education for life, and I show how, in light of the deep philosophical and material roots of world-alienation, orienting teachers toward the world and away from a preoccupation with the concerns of “life” will demand a rethinking of the core of the teacher education curriculum.
The article is a study of Hannah Arendt’s early essays, “Reflections on Little Rock” and “The Crisis in Education,” reading them through the lens of Thinking, the first volume of her final and posthumously published work, The Life of the Mind. The result of this study is the identification of educational thinking as occurring in the existential space of solitude where students, withdrawn from the continuity of everyday life, engage in an activity that enables them to reflect upon and critically reimagine the world and thereby prepare for world-caring.
This article examines Hannah Arendt’s analysis of the problem of modern world alienation, with particular attention to the ways in which predominant modes of thinking contribute to this problem. The author argues that educational research and practices must be grounded in an Arendtian conception of thinking if we are to reclaim the world.
Two different ways of thinking the public meaning of school education are derived from Arendt’s text on the crisis in education. In the first, the school is conceived of as the space/time of introduction, having a public role in giving access to the public sphere. In the second line of thinking, the school is by itself a public space/time: a space/time of suspension and profanation.
This article challenges the idea that the guarantee for democracy lies in the existence of a properly educated citizenry and argues that we should shift our attention from questions about the conditions of democracy to questions about the nature of political existence. The argument is developed through a critical discussion with the work of Hannah Arendt.
According to Hannah Arendt, the aim of education is the cultivation of the future action of students. But teaching itself does not seem to count as a form of action for Arendt, leaving us to wonder how teachers estranged from their own natality can hope to cultivate and safeguard the natality of the young. To solve this dilemma, Higgins shows how both teaching and action take the form of mediation. In Higgins’s formulation, the classroom is a theatrical space and the curriculum a reweaving of our cultural constitution.
This essay introduces the special issue Education, Crisis, and the Human Condition: Arendt after 50 Years.
This article defines reverence, explores it as a cardinal and forgotten virtue, considers how the virtue of reverence is supported by appropriate classroom ritual and ceremony, and discusses several examples of reverence and irreverence in classroom teaching.
The aim of these volumes is to jointly serve as encouragement to bring more people into the educational conversation and as a handbook to assist them in enriching and enlivening the conversation.
The staff and directors of NSSE, and the editors of this volume,
gratefully acknowledge the support of the Spencer Foundation.
A grant from the Foundation provided funds for planning this year’s
two-volume set and for a number of editorial and production
We were not looking for a
conversation about all that is right or wrong with our schools or for a
conversation about particular policies or practices to solve the problems
of our education system, although there are plenty of those conversations
going on. Instead, we were looking for a different and in our minds
more fundamental conversation about what people think about the
purposes of education today, about what we hope to achieve through
educative processes, indeed what role education may play in our democratic
society in the early part of the 21st century.
Now you're probably all asking yourselves, 'Why must I learn read and write?'"
Or to put it another way,
you must understand that in the attempt to correct so many generations
of bad faith and cruelty, when it is operating not only in the
classroom but in society, you will meet the most fantastic, the most
brutal, and the most determined resistance. There is no point in pretending
that this won’t happen.
“May I suggest an addition? It’s very short, two minutes at most. And the children expect it. We call it ‘The Drill.’ Put a problem on the board—it doesn’t matter what. The children know when they enter class to take out their notebooks and begin working on it. It helps to settle them.”
"Let's think of it this way—you're the panel of experts, and I'm the quiz master."
This is a different graduation. I’ve seen quite a few. This is really
about as close as one can get to a feeling of family
Of course, athletics may be beneficial to a child’s growth. But even
given sports’ most benign propaganda—Sports teach you to work
together! Sports build character!—athletics enjoy outsized attention, all
too often, I’m afraid, at the expense of book learning.
I arrived in the English midlands town of Birmingham at the age of
13 from the Middle East, a shy child with a heavy accent. Several
children in my school class were taking dancing lessons at a school that
happened to be on a main road not far from my house. I decided it
would be fun to give dancing a try.