Is Quiet the Next Gap?

As part of writing The Space: A Guide for Educators, Rebecca and I thought about the power of quiet in learning. We discussed how it helps with stress reduction and focus in a noisy world filled with information and screen time. An awareness that schools were losing their quiet places led me to explore how quiet does and doesn't exist in our attention demanding society. My observations continue to lead me to the conclusion that quiet times, quiet spaces, and quiet bodies are growing into a gift for those with means while those that are impacted by poverty struggle for any quiet at all. One example of this happens at the airport. Those with means can choose to be a part of a very quiet business class lounge while others are left to the noisy, overstimulating terminal. Restaurants that are quiet often cater to those with more to spend while fast food is noisy. The houses of those with means are larger with more spaces to get away to quiet. Expensive cars ride quietly. The list goes on and on. As we think about our schools, are we being intentional about not perpetuating the quiet gap? We have a chance to build learning spaces that quiet the world for all kids while still making them active, engaging, and collaborative.