My unpleasant experiences in today’s libraries (both academic and public) have led me to seek out the supply of what I perceive as a critical issue in modern-day education. The issue is noise, specifically the noise of human vocal interactions in areas as soon as revered as sanctuaries of silence.
It may come as a surprise to some people that modern librarians no longer guarantee commonly quiet atmospheres for introspective finding out. Much more surprising would be the reality that these librarians shun silence, though they actively endorse what they consider livelier, far more engaging mastering environments.
From the perspective of an adult who understands understanding as a deeply individual affair, this relaxed attitude towards noise in libraries is disabling. The reality of excessive noise in once-quiet spaces, thus, raises the question, “What has gone wrong in the minds of educators who now lead the charge in a battle against traditional quiet?”
Just as classical values in the visual arts fell out of favor under the forces of popular, nave revolts against perceived authority, so have classical values in education fallen out of favor under forces of similar nave revolts. The process seems to have taken a little longer in education, but the result is the same-a vacuous, relativist philosophy whose proponents denounce all authority by using authoritative arguments against the concept of authority itself.
Several visual artists now realize that this outdated, cyclical contradiction has gotten civilization nowhere, except lost and longing for meaning.
As both an artist and a dedicated library user, I see daily evidence of this civilization lost to itself. I see people desperately lost in their noises, sadly ignorant of their inner selves, and disturbingly inconsiderate of other people around them. I, therefore, suggest with confidence that the ideal of relaxed noise standards in modern libraries is not standing up well in practice.
While some education experts argue convincingly in favor of noise in the learning process, other experts (with a far greater grasp of intellectual processes) argue in favor of quiet.
An Underlying Flaw
In the following paragraphs, I list five peer-reviewed, scholarly papers written by contemporary education experts whose educational values pose a challenge to the values guiding today’s librarians. Beneath each paper’s citation, I list my interpretations of the authors’ main points.
The quite a few arguments in educational literature are flawed, for the reason that they exclude silence from the studies of teaching on which they may be based. Each self-knowledge and discourse originate in silence. A world of wonder, contemplation, and listening is revealed using a “language without having words.” We’re at risk of becoming mere appendages of noises that our machines make, too as mere appendages of our verbal noises that we develop to depend on superficially, no longer defining ourselves via our decisions, our actions, and our judgments. Defined by our noises, we grow to be incapable of listening and incapable of speaking with any depth. Correct mastering will not take spot when it can be connected primarily with noise, profit, and utility. Education primarily based on silence teaches students to think logically, critically, and with sensitivity for the entire issues.
The failure of liberal arts education is in its exclusion of feelings and its exclusion of silence from the processes of reflection and thinking. Teaching is as substantially about listening because it is about speaking. Silence encloses all factors, such as spoken language. Feeling, intuition, imagination, and contemplative silence are necessities in learning or in figuring out. Continental philosopher, Maurice Merlot-Ponty argued that language does not give correct, genuine knowledge in the visible globe, but rather robs the world of its invisible essence.
Consequently, any understanding of language that ignores or de-emphasizes silence is inadequate. When the flatness of mechanistic believed is allowed to rule, we cannot experience the depth of unfathomable existence. An “aesthetic of silence” teaches us to listen in methods that integrate the intellectual, moral, and spiritual dimensions of our lives. The greatest shortcoming of educators is their failure to teach that there’s additional to knowledge than what we can inform. An “aesthetic of silence” teaches us to tune into other people. Prioritizing the spoken word suppresses the transformative, inventive power of individual knowledge gained in contemplative silence.
A damaging perception of silence causes a cultural bias favoring talk, which establishes underlying preconceptions about what constitutes participation and interaction. Formal learning in Western civilizations emphasizes the value of talk, and this value remains relatively unchallenged. Creative, productive interactions can occur where there is no talking. Educators should make a distinction between activities that genuinely promote learning and activities (used unquestioningly) that promote other agendas. “Social” learning theory has been confused with “sociable” learning theory.
Silence itself is a kind of interpersonal communication exactly where we say a thing by saying nothing at all. Two-way conversation, the truth is, needs it. Many original Americans (i.e., most American Indian tribes) honored quiet and discouraged profuse or promiscuous use of words. For these original Americans, the space in between words was the realm where individuals create character, self-control, courage, patience, and dignity. Americans who later came to dominate the culture dispensed with the reverence for quiet, placing great emphasis on verbal communication, and often treating silent members of a group as the least influential members.