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TXTS 4 Teachers

Academic Dialogue: Deep Listening

Marlys WeaverStoesz

In an effort to engage our students in a discussion, the art of deeply listening is sometimes overlooked.  The various academic dialogue techniques discussed in previous TXT4 Teachers have included components of active listening: paraphrasing and seeking clarity for what one hears.  Deep listening, however, is distinguished by “listening over hearing and connecting over responding.  In relationships, deep listening means acknowledging others’ emotions so they are heard.  In careers, deep listening means developing productive communication by listening to understand, not merely to reply” (Heusterberg-Richards, 2016).

Instead of a video, today we offer a thoughtful Edutopia blog post from Amy Heutersberg-Richards, “Deep Listening Activities for Academic Discussions.”

We invite you to visit her post for a full description of the following deep listening activities:

Follow the Thread Discussion

Conversation Circle

Acknowledgment Transitions

Paused Pair-and-Shares

Inviting Quietness

Undoubtedly, these activities are adaptable to all grade levels and content areas.  The challenge, of course, is to intentionally implement one or more of the strategies and consistently build them into either small or whole group discussion protocols.  Imagine the pay-off, however, as students learn to “better know each other’s ideas…It can mean a more inclusive atmosphere where all voices feel respected and where moments of silence are welcome.”