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Listening for Learning

Performing a Pedagogy of Sound and Listening

Chris McRae

Whoosh, crunch, buzz, inhale, exhale . . . Listening for Learning: Performing a Pedagogy of Sound and Listening presents sound, listening, and pedagogical interactions as performances that create relationships, ways of being and knowing, and that provide an opportunity for transformations of existing and taken-for-granted practices in the classroom. By using performative listening and performative writing this book presents fragments of sound and listening as sites of learning and knowledge production. The written fragments throughout this book are offered as performances that listen for and hear sound as a central feature to educational practices in terms of bodies, classrooms, and pedagogy. The goal in sharing this performance of listening is to create opportunities for recognition, to invite further listening in educational contexts, and to employ listening as an opportunity for transforming and re-imagining educational spaces and interactions.

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Introduction

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, I approach sound, listening, and pedagogical interactions as performances that create relationships, ways of being and knowing, and that provide and present an opportunity for transformations of existing and taken-for-granted practices in the classroom. Sound effects bodies and affects the scenes and sites of interaction. Sound is vibration. Sound is immersive.1 Sound is a way of knowing and being in the world.2 Sound is performance.3 And in this book I approach performances of sound as always emerging in relationship to and with performances of listening.4 Importantly, I do not consider listening to be a performance that is exclusively a physiological act. Instead, listening in this book is an ethical and performative stance of openness that precedes or accompanies dialogic modes of engagement in the service of creating new and better worlds.5Listening for Learning: Performing a Pedagogy of Sound and Listening is a reflection, a meditation, an attunement to ←1 | 2→learning, and it is an invitation for a proliferation of performances of listening for learning and other pedagogical performances.

I currently teach courses in the area of performance studies within a communication department. Some of the courses that I teach include Introduction to Communication as Performance, Performing Identity & Culture, Group Performance of Literature, Performing Relationships, and Writing for Performance. These classes, and the other courses in the performance curriculum, all begin with the course prefix “ORI” which is an abbreviation for oral interpretation and an indicator of the institutional and disciplinary histories of the curriculum. In the...

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