Why The Art of Speaking Should Be Taught Alongside Math and Literacy
Talking is thinking. Indeed, talking plays a key role in our brain’s acquisition, storage, and retrieval of information. It follows that if we want our students to think critically in the classroom, we need to SUPPORT them to TALK critically as well.
When teachers orchestrate classrooms where students feel safe to talk through their thinking and respectfully critique the thinking of others, powerful learning gains can occur. Furthermore, when students have repeated opportunities to articulate and justify their thinking, it creates a classroom culture that values the importance of refining our thinking and supporting our ideas with evidence.
All of this is much easier said than done, as it takes time to create a classroom culture where students feel safe to speak up and critique their peers.
The following story and video provides an example of a progressive curriculum which realizes that while talk abounds in many classrooms, students still need to be provided regular, deliberate opportunities to practice speaking and listening in increasingly critical and yet respectful ways.