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ERIC Number: EJ799513
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0305-764X
Silent Pedagogy and Rethinking Classroom Practice: Structuring Teaching through Silence Rather than Talk
Ollin, Ros
Cambridge Journal of Education, v38 n2 p265-280 Jun 2008
Classroom observations are an important source of information about teaching and about the practice of particular teachers. The paper considers the value placed on talk as opposed to silence in this context and suggests that a cultural bias towards talk means that silence is commonly perceived negatively. The paper is based on a qualitative research study involving interviews with 25 teacher participants. These participants identify different types of silence and report how they use various silences in the classroom, suggesting that many different types of silence may be used productively in teaching and learning. The paper provides examples of questions that might be asked when observing teachers' uses of silence rather than talk. It concludes by proposing that classroom observations should take into account the complex skills of "silent pedagogy" where the teacher makes conscious decisions to abstain from intervention based on continuous sensitive readings of the learning environment. (Contains 1 table.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A