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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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Part 3. Listening to Pedagogy


Pedagogical interactions and experiences emerge between and amongst bodies. Teaching bodies and learning bodies work together and in tension to create pedagogical experiences. And these bodies are also always entangled with and situated in educational contexts and locations that work relationally on, with, and against the ways these bodies interact. In the first two parts of this book I listen to bodies in classrooms in order to develop a sense of the ways listening and sound shape relationships and pedagogical interactions. In these final chapters I turn an ear toward the theories and methods of teaching, the pedagogy, that activates and characterizes the interactions between bodies and the relationships of these bodies with educational spaces.

Throughout Parts 1 and 2 the separation of bodies from spaces in the context of pedagogical practices is artificial at best. The sounds of learning and teaching bodies are also the sounds of classroom spaces. The institutional configuration of classrooms is maintained by the institutional configuration of bodies. And the possibility of interrupting and disrupting taken-for-granted pedagogical interactions through sound and listening is always a possibility that is both about bodies and spaces. The chapters in Part 3 work to address and listen for the ways bodies and spaces are entangled in pedagogical contexts. These chapters listen for pedagogy as a distinct practice that makes and ←163 | 164→is made by listening and sounding. In these chapters, pedagogy is defined as the theories and practices of teaching and learning. Pedagogy sets bodies and...

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