Let's Talk About Education

If You Want to Learn, Listen…

August 26, 2022 - Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

We learn in all sorts of ways, in school and in life. We learn by doing, we learn by talking about what we know, and by demonstrating what we know. But there is another way we learn which is perhaps undervalued yet even more powerful. It happens not when we are talking or doing it, but when we are listening to other people. The photographs below are from the Theory of Knowledge presentations that took place earlier this week in Gávea.

The learners in the room were not the presenters, but those listening to the presentations. It was the listeners who were learning, not those speaking. In a world awash with debates, strong opinions, and invested positions, it is helpful to remember the power of listening to the views and opinions of others if we really want to learn. A key element of an IB education is the ability to be reflective and to be open-minded: to “seek and evaluate a range of points of view”, rather than focus on our own. I remember that my High School French Teacher, Mr. Steeple, gave me some advice that has stayed with me ever since: “You have two ears and one mouth. Try to use them in the same proportion”. It was a useful lesson to learn and one that continues to remind me that I will always learn something from listening to others.

Dr. Nigel J Winnard
Head of School

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