A summary and critical evaluation of teacher’s listening

A summary and critical evaluation of teacher’s listening



This paper is based on the flipped classroom model, aiming to create listening opportunities for teachers to design an undergraduate course on venture capital. In this flipped classroom, the teacher is expected to organise in-class group interaction, collaboration, and class presentations that increase the opportunities for the teacher to listen. During the listening process, teachers pay attention to students’ questions, arguments and unexpected sounds. It requires the teacher to listen patiently while taking control of the classroom, organising classroom activities and exercising more effective leadership skills. Quaglia and Fox (2018) define student voice as the process of “sharing thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and opinions in a safe environment of trust and respect”. In listening teaching, the relationship between teachers and students develops from the original antagonistic relationship to a cooperative and listening relationship. Listening teaching can genuinely promote the establishment and development of a harmonious teacher-student relationship, and such positive relationships set the stage for fostering a caring and inclusive classroom environment (Potvin, 2021).


Teaching scenario

I have designed a teaching scenario where the teacher divides the class into project groups based on the size of groups of 5-8 students in the venture capital classroom. The teacher selects several cases as the focus of the class, each belonging to a different industry and going through multiple life cycles. The same project investment is then divided into four segments according to textbook knowledge: pre-investment analysis, investment process, post-investment management and investment exit, to analyse how to complete each process of venture capital investment. If one company is already listed, its return on investment can be calculated to deduce the correctness of the investment decision. Each group needs to discuss a selected investment project and simulate the whole venture capital investment process, with each member taking up the appropriate role in the project investment. According to the division of labour model of industry research, financial analysis, legal and overall project leader, each team member completes the appropriate work in the project advancement and, finally, presents to write a complete “Investment Report” and a presentation. The workload for this project is high in practice and requires a division of labour between the members. The design of the teaching scenario needs to be differentiated from the traditional model by shifting the classroom to a laboratory, with project members clustered around a circular table to facilitate the discussion.


Teacher as a listener

In this process, the teacher can fully play the role of a listener. As the group works on the venture capital case, the teacher can enter each group in turn to listen to the students’ voices. Listening can only be created with mutual respect (Farinati, 2017), This can facilitate the development of an equal relationship between teachers and students. Therefore, the teacher should be aware of students’ questions, respect their desire to know, listen patiently and answer them, and then students can feel that the teacher cares about all their ideas (Moje, 1996). Although the students are the initiators throughout the case study, and their understanding and ideas are respected, the teacher can still throw out a few critical questions for the students to consider during their analysis. The teacher is mainly a listener during the discussion, encouraging different opinions, leading arguments and debates, and maintaining the freedom of the case discussion. Throughout the process, the teacher can focus on the arguments between students. For example, some students in the class will debate which comes first, the risk or the opportunity. Since each student is an individual and thinks differently, they all have their ideas (Dewey, 1985). Some think that risk and opportunity come simultaneously and that when we choose the opportunity, the risk is there. But some people disagree. They think that the opportunity must come after the risk, and if we cannot catch the opportunity, how can we talk about the risk? In such cases, the teacher should let the children speak freely and express their different opinions, or even encourage them to ‘argue’. In addition, the teacher should listen attentively to all of them, whether loudly or slightly, rightly or wrongly, justly or timidly. This process allows the student’s voice to be heard more fully and allows for a more equitable teacher-student relationship. The key to disagreement about risk and opportunity lies in blurring the definition of risk. The teacher should be prepared to listen carefully and take notes as the students argue, judge the focus of the argument and capture their creative responses.

Once the group’s analysis of the case has been completed, the group can be organised to present it on stage. During this process, the teacher is mainly responsible for guiding, and the project groups evaluate each other. Listening and thinking with others increases our chances of reflection (Farinati, 2017).This kind of reflection helps students to understand each other and form a friendly communication relationship among classmates.The classroom presentation is a demonstration of multiple skills. In the classroom, the teacher should listen patiently, observe carefully, and encourage students to speak freely. Farinati (2017) illustrate that collective listening can strengthen people’s cohesion. That is, each project group evaluates and scores each other so that group members need to focus not only on the material written by their project group but also on the material of other project groups, which has a motivating effect on student learning and classmate relationship. Through student presentations, the teacher can gain a comprehensive and timely understanding of teaching and learning effectiveness and provide additional explanations of poorly mastered points. As a leader, the teacher should then guide students on how to learn, boldly letting go of the classroom and returning it to the students, allowing them to be the subjects of learning, experience the learning process first-hand and feel the joy of learning. By creating a sense of urgency for the students, analysing the causes of mistakes, making appropriate pointers, and asking subtle and brief questions, the students become the real masters of such a classroom.

Throughout the classroom, teachers may also encounter interruptions from students, some of which interfere with the teacher’s progress and others with the class order, and most teachers will therefore reprimand or ignore them. In fact, these interruptions are a sign of the differences in the way students think (English, 2009). Many students’ interruptions are a demonstration of their innovative ideas, and teachers who listen, listen well and read them in time will give a boost to teaching. It is essential for students to feel listened to in the classroom (Murdoch, 2021). The initiative is returned to the students, giving them more space to think.


The impact of Datafication on my intervention

Educational datafication does not fully address the issues that arise in my intervention. The simple fact is that a harmonious teacher-student relationship can be promoted by enhancing listening and allowing the teacher to produce more efficient instruction. While datafication can also be advantageous in guiding students in this area of learning, there is still the problem of misleading use compared to teacher guidance.

With educational technology’s development, digitisation offers low cost and impartiality. First of all, using digital methods can save costs. Furthermore, digital technology makes it possible to calculate and analyse all aspects of student data. (Michel Foucault, 1991) The use of learning analytics allows for individual student analyses, real-time assessments, etc. The results not only improve teachers’ understanding of students and facilitate the design of personalised education (Bulger, 2016) but also can be used to guide pedagogy and curriculum design, ultimately leading to the most adapted teaching strategies for students and guiding their learning. In addition, data analysis is used to produce more objective and unbiased results compared to teachers and free from personal bias (Gitelman & Jackson, 2013). In this respect, digitalisation does enhance the undifferentiated teacher-student relationship.

However, using digital to guide students in teaching and learning is still misleading. This is due to the misleading nature that arises when data is misused (Davies, 2017 ). While the range of data that can be collected is significant, at the same time, they tend to ignore the complexity of the data, and the need for more context, meaning and causal factors (Lupton, 2015). Pedagogy or curriculum design developed through datafication must take cultural context into account. The teacher-student process also needs to be sensitive to the differences in students’ backgrounds to facilitate the relationship between them better. Analysis that does not incorporate contextualisation may not yield satisfactory results. In conclusion, the emergence of educational datafication positively affects educational decision-making and the relationship between teacher and student, but there are still limitations.



Teachers should appreciate students’ differences, listen to their problems, value their unique opinions, tolerate their ‘different voices’, and capture educational opportunities to guide them at the right time so that students’ learning can move forward dynamically. Teachers listen to provide opportunities for students to give birth to exciting ideas. Whether teachers learn to listen, find value and meaning in students’ questions and answers, discover a world full of children, experience students’ emotions and think about the questions behind the answers becomes an essential condition for teachers to organise the classroom. A friendly teacher-student relationship requires more opportunities for teachers to listen.



Andrea English. (n.d.). Listening as a Teacher: Educative Listening, Interruptions and Reflective Practice. 1. https://doi.org/10.7202/1072340ar

Bulger, M. (2016). Personalized learning: The conversations we’re not having. data Retrieved from Data and Society Research Institute, New York. www.datasociety.net/pubs/ecl/PersonalizedLearning_primer_2016.pdf

Davies, W. (2017). Elite power under advanced neoliberalism. theory, culture & Society, 34(5-6), 227-250.

Dewey, J. (1916/1985). Democracy and Education. The Middle Works. vol. 9. Carbondale: SUP.

Farinati. (2017). The Force of Listening. Errant Bodies Press. https://errantbodies.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Force_of_Listening.pdf

Gitelman, L., & Jackson, V. (2013). Introduction. in L. Gitelman (Ed.), ‘Raw data’ is an oxymoron (pp. 1-14). London: MIT Press

Lupton, D. (2015). Digital Sociology. London: Routledge.

Moje, E. B. (1996). “I teach students, not subjects”: Teacher–student relationships as contexts. Reading Research Quarterly, 31(2), 172–195.

Murdoch. (2021). Feeling heard: Inclusive education, transformative learning, and productive struggle. https://www.research.ed.ac.uk/en/publications/ 10ab03f0-0387-4280-944d-b5500624263c

Potvin, A. S. (2021). “Students speaking to you”: Teachers listen to student surveys to improve classroom environment. Learning Environments Research, 24(2), 239-252. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-020-09330-1

Quaglia, R. J. & Fox, K. M. (2018) Student voice: A way of being, Australian Educational Leader, 40(1), 14–18.


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