Special Issue "Silence and Speech as Psychology of Learning"

A special issue of European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education (ISSN 2254-9625).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2023) | Viewed by 1326

Special Issue Editors

Faculty of Education, Monash University, Wellington Rd., Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
Interests: silence in education and communication; reflective and verbal learning; intercultural issues in education and communication; learning materials development and learning task design; cognition and behaviour in education; creative pedagogy that employs art and poetry
Dr. Seiko Harumi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
SOAS, University of London, London WC1H 0XG, UK
Interests: classroom discourse; pragmatics; psychology of learning; conversation analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Issue explores silence, as a debatable construct, by considering its potential positioning in the psychology of learning as a field. Although the psychology of learning has largely acknowledged that learning behaviour constantly responds to the environment, not much in the discourse of silence has settled with the idea that silent behaviour is a response to the environment. 

Empirical research over the past twenty years, however, has provided evidence that silence is part of a changeable process in the psychology of the learner. That is, silence can be perceived as a way of learning, and as a part of learning, since it can respond to the environment and be modified according to the context.

The aim of this Issue is to attempt to position silence in such a system or dynamics, which is what silence should be seen within, as a part of the whole learning mechanism, rather than being ill treated as a problem, a negative state, an independent construct, or an outcast in education.

Unfortunately, when we type these two keywords (silence and psychology of learning) into any library database, we find hardly anything, that is, no discourse on and no research into the connection between the two. Even when one looks at the summary of the psychology of learning in Wikipedia and other sources, there is no mention of 'silence' or 'silent' in it. Moreover, few research results are returned when one searches for ‘silence’ and ‘learning’. A search in the Web of Science (WoS), especially when one narrows down the categories to ‘education and ‘psychology’ over the past three years, produces a small result of 167 items.

If we investigate the discourse of the psychology of learning, some of the closest key concepts related to silence would be reflective learning (Felder–Silverman model), reflector (Honey–Mumford learning styles), reflective observation (Kob's learning style), self-directed learning, introversion, active–reflective, auditory learner, solitude, and vicarious learning, among others. However, the term 'silence' seems to be strictly avoided. We might wonder why. No one has ever answered this question or even asked it. This gap needs attention, considering the research into silence over the past 20 years that has begun to recognise silence as learning.

This Issue, therefore, is an effort and appeal for scholars to participate in this debate of whether, how, and why silence should be conceptualised in the discipline of learning psychology. This Issue hopes to open a dialogue for new thinking, rather than trying to single-sidedly force silence into this discipline, which might be too new and too unusual. We are hoping to capture voices from researchers in silence studies and in the psychology of learning and build this dialogue. There should be research to bridge the gap and then use that gap to appeal for contributions.

The scope of this Special Issue is not limited to just silent learning. Contributors might like to write about any of the following seven sub-themes: 

  1. Silent learning in general (the mechanism and the dynamics of right-brained, intuitive, cautious, reflective, vicarious, auditory learners);
  2. Silent learning in context (learners' adaptive behaviour that involves silence, peer dynamic that involves silence, the use of silence in relation to specific tasks and resources, ways of generating ideas through not talking); 
  3. Silent and verbal learning (comparison, connection, and relationship between silence and speech, adaptive behaviour that involves both silence and speech, peer dynamic that involves silent and verbal learners, ways of generating ideas through verbal and reflective means);
  4. The movement or shift from one learning mode to another (effort by learners to become more articulate, awareness of verbal learners to be more reflective);
  5. How learning affects teaching (productive silent learning models or ways of learning, how the understanding of reflective learners can improve teaching);
  6. Learner experience (the dynamic of situational silence in classroom settings, case studies of students who struggle with silence or who enjoy silence);
  7. Teacher experience (teacher perspective on how one helps student learning through productive silence, how teachers assist students in moving away from passive silence, the transfer from one mode to another according to the nature of classroom tasks and the ecology of the classroom culture).

Dr. Dat Bao
Dr. Seiko Harumi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • silence
  • silent learning
  • silent learner
  • reflective learner
  • psychology of learning
  • silent and verbal learning
  • inner speech

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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