Scott Robinson (2020). Listening in Teacher Education: A Constructivist Grounded Theory

The purpose of this qualitative research is to examine listening since it essential for effective communication yet is not well understood (Murphy, 2019; Worthington & Fitch- Hauser, 2018). The aim is to address the listening gap in the field of teacher education (Haroutunian-Gordan & Waks, 2010; Kourmousi et al., 2018; Schultz et al., 2008) by interviewing two elementary teacher candidates about listening. The emerging constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2014) results in an analogy of listening based on a communication atom with listening represented as protons and neutrons located in the nucleus of the atom and electrons representing speaking found in levels surrounding the nucleus. Listening is further explained through the interaction of: a) senses – auditory and visual, b) dispositions – critical, inquisitive, and introspective, and c) self-understanding – beliefs and values. Speakers assert a message through vocalization and gesticulation based on their self-knowledge. The mutual attraction of listening protons and speaking electrons binds the communication atom into a coherent whole. Neutrons in the nucleus represent self-talk. A fundamental outcome of this research is that listening generates voice. Implications are based on listening that facilitates the development of: voice and identity, safety in the classroom, dispositions including curiosity and patience, and self-talk. Listening is essential for fostering rich academic conversations and productive discussions among teacher candidates, mentor teachers, and K-12 students.

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