This silence in schools website is an emerging resource for those interested in the connections between silence and education. It focuses on schools in its name because it links to the book by Dr Helen E Lees (with its focus on silence in schools), but education is much more than schooling and the topic is broader than one author and one book.

 

In a time of increasing interest in mindfulness and meditation as techniques, this website focuses on the material these techniqies use: chosen and beneficial silence.

 

The site is best viewed with google chrome.

 

See for consultancy services linked to the information provided here: http://www.otherconsulting.com/1-stronger-silence/

 

From a recent media article (see: http://shriverreport.org/teaching-our-kids-silence-and-meditation/):

 

"In her book, Silence in Schools, Dr. Helen E. Lees, declares, 'Silence is the new oil. From a global perspective, both are sourced and mined with efforts from the depths. Both involve a power of transformation that can change the world. Both are complicated in their manifesto. Both are valuable.'"

Silence is a state of mind. It has little to do with an absence of noise...

What is 'silence in schools'?

 

 

'Silence in Schools' is a broad term for the introduction, practice and subject of positive, personally chosen silence in schools. 

 

These silences in schools happen in various ways. They can be introduced to people through the teaching of specific techniques. Amongst those that are common are meditation and mindfulness. Or, they can be discovered without the need for techniques. By finding a silent space for a while. By dwelling in a mood of stillness and quiet. By staring away from busyness and talk, towards what is silent, such as looking out the window at a bird...

 

Schools as institutions are particular places in which to find and be in or with silence. They are places of organisational and political structures (at the macro and micro level). Silence has powerful affects on this environment.

 

Silence is most often something we achieve because we want it. Sometimes it comes towards us and surprises us. To reach silence; to be in and with silence, is an experience of its own kind. We know it when we have it and often this having of it makes us want it again, and again. This is natural. This is healthy. It is strong, positive silence in our lives. 

 

External conditions help a lot with this. Most important is how we think and how we manage our thoughts. But key to such management of it that we do ourselves are the conditions 'in front' of silence. It cannot be coerced. We cannot enjoy silence if we are forced into it.

 

In this sense silence is not that strongly connected to noise or absence of noise. It is a presence. Many people say that experiencing strong, positive silence that they have sought and chosen is a feeling that brings them peace, joy and satisfaction. It is also reported to increase levels of energy once a return to action reoccurs.

 

Dr Helen E. Lees has written a book which considers the phenomenon of silence in schools. Her book (see News page) offers a way to understand silence practices for schooling and includes theoretical and ethical ideas to frame how silence can be incorporated into schools.

 

Through empirical research Helen has found that silence in schools:

 

  • is an art form that demands being talked about and managed
  • has a technology and conditions of its own
  • offers democratic potential for schooling

 

This website links to the book but is designed to become, over time, a further resource for schools and education concerning silence.

 

To order a copy of the book, go here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silence-Schools-Helen-E-Lees/dp/1858564751/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393601370&sr=8-1&keywords=silence+in+schools

 

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