The Slow Murmur of Learning: Honoring Substance and Solitude in Education

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The Slow Murmur of Learning: Honoring Substance and Solitude in Education
Series Title:
"Civil" Society? On the Future Prospects of Meaningful Dialogue
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Senechal, Diana
Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, University of Floirda
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The Slow Murmur of Learning: Honoring Substance and Solitude in Education Diana Senechal (Columbia Secondary School, NYC) 19 February 2014, 5:30 pm, Hippodrome Theatre (cinema), Gainesville, FL
Over the past few decades, our schools’ emphasis on quick results and feedback has left students with little room for absorbing complex material or taking risks with their own work. Several trends, not confined to education, have contributed to the problem: an insistence on concrete, measurable goals; a narrow view of student “engagement”; an emphasis on talk over quiet thought; and a push for teacher evaluation systems that focus on test score results and quick classroom observations. These tendencies, although based on good intentions, have contributed to an environment that discourages (and sometimes even penalizes) challenging study and independent thought. To address this problem, schools should honor those aspects of education that require solitude (as well as community) and grow in meaning over time.
Diana Senechal teaches philosophy at Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering in New York City. She is the 2011 recipient of the Hiett Prize in the Humanities, awarded by the Dallas Institute for Humanities and Culture and the author of Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture. Her translations of the Lithuanian poetry of Tomas Venclova have been published in two books, Winter Dialogue and The Junction, as well as numerous literary journals. Her education writing has appeared in Education Week, The New Republic, Educational Leadership, American Educational History Journal, The Core Knowledge Blog, Joanne Jacobs, GothamSchools, and The Washington Post’s blog The Answer Sheet. She lives in Brooklyn.
Organized by the Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, and co-sponsored by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere (Rothman Endowment), the Harn Eminent Scholar Chair in Art History Program, the UF Honors Program, the Alexander Grass Chair in Jewish History at UF, the UF International Center, the UF Office of Research, UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the UF Center for Jewish Studies, the UF Libraries, the UF College of Public health and Health Professions, the UF France-Florida Research Institute, the Hyatt and Cici Brown Endowment for Florida Archaeology, the UF Department of History, the UF African American Studies Program, the UF Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research, UF College of Design, Construction and Planning, and the Alachua County Library District.

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University of Florida Institutional Repository
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University of Florida
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