The Role of the Heart

In the same way that our planet is warming up, so also is it undeniable that the role of the heart in education is warming up:

Chapter 06: Energetic Communication

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3 thoughts on “The Role of the Heart”

  1. I thought this section was very interesting:

    “Most people tend to think of communication solely in terms of overt signals expressed through facial movements, voice qualities, gestures and body movements. However, evidence now supports the perspective that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or “energetic” communication system operates just below our conscious level of awareness…

    …The ability to sense what other people are feeling is an important factor in allowing us to connect, or communicate effectively with them. The smoothness or flow in any social interaction depends to a great extent on the establishment of a spontaneous entrainment or linkage between individuals. When people are engaged in deep conversation, they begin to fall into a subtle dance, synchronizing their movements and postures, vocal pitch, speaking rates and length of pauses between responses,[214] and, as we are now discovering, important aspects of their physiology also can become linked and synchronized.”

    I feel like I’m becoming more aware of how the way in which we interact with our students is more like a dance, than simply “presenting information”. Even when telling a story (SL style) we are in constant interaction with our students and sensing where they are as we try to interact and engage them so that they can enter into the story/dance with us. The target language acquisition is simply a byproduct.

  2. …the way in which we interact with our students is more like a dance, than simply “presenting information”….

    Thank you for homing in on this Bryan. And whether the dance even occurs depends very heavily on if the kids feel safe, if they understand us, if they even want to hear what we are saying. Those are big “ifs” in a world in which the Curriculum is the true standard, the unfortunate legacy of the era of the textbook. It’s like the chapters about “apprivoisement/taming” in Le Petit Prince. We must prepare ourselves on this level of “pulling our chair slightly closer” to our students each day. My view is that doing that is about 1000 times easier when the input is non-targeted. Once the kids figure out that we are really using the story to teach them structures from a word list, a thematic unit, a textbook, or to prepare to read a novel, and they do figure it out fairly quickly (think: TPRS classes in April), the hope of linking with them in the way the article describes is lost.

  3. Absolutely, students smell a rat very quickly.
    I remember a situation during my teacher training when one of us trainees was giving a lesson in language arts (the subject is just called German) and after the motivational part ( we had to incorporate this bc it was regarded as good pedagogical practise) into which the students readily bought, she skipped to the text she wanted the students to get invoved with. At that moment I heard a student saying to herself “Ah, so that’s what it’s all about. She could have skipped the beginning and just told us.” The initial joy of the students was gone at once. I could sense that they felt they’d been cheated – once again!

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