If we all just listened…

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When I was in New York last year I, by chance, met a truly fantastic educator who sent me on many learning journeys without even realising it. Jen Oleniczak is the engaging educator, and at the time was a tour guide on an amazing trip through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I delved more deeply into her theories and methods, and was introduced to improv. Not as a fun game, but as a tool for social change. Watch her Tedx conference presentation below.

When I was at the recent Australian College of Educators meeting, this theory screamed out to me. Every educator in that room, from ELC to Tertiary, from 2 years experience to 52, listened, and really listened. They clearly had their own agendas, had their own focus, but at the end of the day, each and every person in that room listened intently to the spoken and unspoken communication in the room. Improv, active listening, and being present in the moment doesn’t just make your classroom/lecture theatre/early learning centre function at a higher level, it makes faculties, departments, countries, function at a higher level. I was really thrilled to hear Christopher Pyne clearly listening to the questions being asked, and being aware that what the crowd wanted was not partisan politicking, but answers to their questions. Equally deserving of credit, was the way in which the crowd carefully considered the meaning and intent of his answers, and were willing to debate them in the correct forum at the correct time.

Imagine what we would achieve if we all just listened? Really listened…

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