Why does this matter?
Soundscapes are a tool, but at the heart of projects such as this is reflection through dialogue. The underlying goal is to engage students in conversation about different lived experiences, working to break the cycle of sociocultural silencing. Sociocultural silencing is the deliberate suppression of classroom conversations on issues of inequality, difference, and discrimination. While this can be useful to engage students in conversation in a homogenous school setting, it is even more crucial in a schools setting with diverse lived experiences. Engaging with soundscapes helps students to engage in difficult conversations surrounding inequity, social justice and difference. These types of conversations are often taboo in school environments, but schools are the ideal place for conversations about culture, race, gender, socioeconomics and the assumptions, prejudices, and biases we all hold. Students who have participated in a similar project spoke about silencing and stereotypes by saying:
Research and Literature also expresses the need for dialogue in classrooms that strive for democratically just practices. The mindmap below explores articles and videos that may be helpful in exploring the reasons behind sociocultural silencing and role soundscapes can play in helping to break the pattern of silencing in classroom culture.