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All students can exhibit productive beginnings of meaningful disciplinary thinking, and it is our responsibility as instructors to create an environment in which students are equitably supported in developing as disciplinary thinkers.

We formed the Listening Project in order to "substantially and sustainably" increase Tufts' capacity for inclusion, especially of students who belong to groups underrepresented in science.

We work to support our fellow instructors in welcoming students to the learning process, by eliciting and engaging with their students' disciplinary thinking.

Benefits for instructors

Listening practice outside of the heat-of-the-moment, and with the help of colleagues from different disciplines, offers several direct benefits for us as instructors:

  • Improved skill at listening to students' disciplinary thinking in-the-moment (i.e. during class discussions and while giving feedback or grades for written work)
  • Improved understanding of our students' disciplinary thinking, becoming better informed for supporting its development
  • Support from each other in making listening to students' disciplinary thinking a more substantive part of our teaching

Benefits for our students

Listening "live" in the context of a course can benefit our students too. When we make space for students to express their thinking, and when we engage seriously with it, our students can enjoy:

  • Improved disciplinary skill and understanding
  • Increased sense of belonging, in class and in the discipline

The Listening Project is supported by a grant to Tufts University from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Science Education Program.