On Creating Students Who Can Be Silent

I saw this thought provoking quote today on Facebook (hat tip to Jeffrey Overstreet, by the way):

The present state of the world and the whole of life is diseased. If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I would reply: Create silence! The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today. And even if it were blazoned forth with all the panoply of noise so that it could be heard in the midst of all the other noise, then it would no longer be the Word of God. Therefore create Silence.

Soren Kierkegaard

I wonder what this has to tell us as educators. Most of us are so caught up in discussion, dialogue, and creating students who can “express” themselves effectively – and that’s not wrong. But we’re so focused on the speaking part of Rhetoric that it’s possible we are failing to cultivate the kind of students who know how to be quiet, who are capable of listening. After all, if we can’t listen to each other how can we listen to the words of God?

Something I’ll be considering for the next little while…

What do you think? How can we produce students capable of listening? Is it just impossible in our modern, overloaded world?

Any ideas?

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