Today, June 26, I read the first three chapters of Katherine Schultz’s Rethinking Classroom Participation: Listening to Silent Voices. The topic of silence in the classroom was made more personal to me this year as my daughter switched schools this year and came to “my” high school. Although a bright student and very articulate, she often does not like to be called upon in class. I really was surprised by this. She is outgoing and very often not lacking words. On our car rides home, she would wax poetic about her math teacher and his emphasis on not calling on students or “volunteering” them to solve problems.
So she got me thinking as a teacher. Do I have students like her who are bright but genuinely prefer not to be called on, and it that okay?
Schultz talks about the different meanings of silence and their value. The book’s open quote is poignant “Speech came out of silence, and out of the fullness of silence” (1). Remember Fahrenheit 451? Silence/quiet time is required for thinking.
I’ll continue reading and let you know.