On Being and Listening

My moments of personal reflection and contemplation happen most often when my body is moving, when I’m running or walking, and listening to either a podcast or my inner voice….or both.

Today, I was listening to this podcast from the website On Being with Krista Tippet

She interviews a research psychologist and 
Arthur Zajonc (who) is a physicist and contemplative, who believes that the farthest frontiers of science are bringing us back to a radical reorientation towards life and the foundations for our moral life.”

I was walking and listening to the podcast thinking this topic had no connection to my professional life as a teacher and Instructional coach. My mind was freely venturing with the movement of my body when Zajonc said there are problems with the way scientists use the models of physics. He said that scholars can “fall in love with the model” forgetting about the lived experience.

I physically altered my gait feeling that moment of cognitive connection. His words reminded me about the models in my profession, the models of best practices, the models of Instructional Strategies which I’ve immersed myself in over these past few weeks. I must guard against “falling in love with the model” of evidence based instructional strategies by honouring the lived experiences of teachers. 

I won’t discard the models, but they only yield learning through experience.

He also said that “knowledge cannot be something you just move across a table“, and I listened to his description of the “epiphanic moments” in teaching a class, when his enthusiasm for the content, or the way of thinking, or the interconnectedness of life overwhelms him and he sees this echoed back, reflected in the “ah ha” moment so visibly evident on the face of his students. 

I’ve been fortunately enough to have lived that experience in the classroom and felt the humility in that moment of insight which was not mine and yet I was there. 

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