Tagged: circle pedagogy
Circle pedagogy, as a feminist art teaching methodology used and discussed by Judy Chicago, involves the students’ voices (each is given time to speak and expected to participate) rather than students circle around for a teacher demonstration, or to hear the teacher read a story, or the teacher to circulate around the room.
It has been interesting to me to read the comments by different teachers in terms of their efforts to use a circle pedagogy. One of the critical elements is the use of silence; that is, when a student doesn’t speak up immediately when it is his or her turn, teachers often step in because they are uncomfortable with silence. But silence can be useful as it can give hesitant students time to work up the courage to speak. Most students learn quickly that teachers will (unfortunately) fill up all available space and use that knowledge to avoid taking the risk of speaking up (risky because many students are afraid of making a mistake or saying the wrong thing). All the more reason for teachers to learn not to be afraid of silence and to see it as a pause, a moment for reflection, a quiet time rather than a void to be immediately filled.
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