Attunement and Teaching


  • Peter Lutzker


Abstract. This paper examines the relevance of the concept of attunement in the field of education. Drawing on the works of philosophers such as David Michael Levin, Medard Boss and John Dewey, it first explores the implications of a perception of the world based primarily on listening, as opposed to seeing. Paradigms of attuned listening in the areas of neurology, psychology and spirituality are discussed. The presence of silence is viewed as constituting a necessary basis for attunement, and in this context the writings of the philosopher Max Picard on the phenomenon of das Schweigen are considered. The particular challenges of realizing silence and attunement in our times are discussed. The requisite gestures implied by attunement as a primary form of perception and expression are considered along with the implications and significance of this concept for education. Keywords: attunement, silence, empathy, listening, attunement in education