Learning is a permanent change in behavior of an individual and how he or she responds to the immediate environment. This essay presents a comparison and contrast between learning to listen and see.

Thesis statement: learning to listen is easy as compared to learning to see but hard to perfect.

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Learning to Listen and See

In the book “Study is hard work” William (6) established a correlation between listening and fast learning pace. Even though it is the easiest approach to learning, listening remains the hardest skill to perfect as compared to using sight. An indicator of the ability to listen is patience to hear names of persons introduced.

Furthermore, if a student captures opening remarks of a teacher then he or she has good level of listening skills. Listening is also measured by examining obsession to doing two things at the same time i.e. listening and speaking. In contrast to listening, Scudder who was among great educators subjected students into minute observation during a learning process with an objective of cultivating ability to see. While introducing a student into an Entomology class, Scudder used a fish to stress on value of using sight to learn. Research conducted by Professor Scudder explicitly demonstrates details that can be obtained from use of sight as opposed to hearing. Before scrutinizing fine points of an object, simple observable characteristics are deduced.

While a teacher attempt to nurture learners so as to become good readers, most of the listening skills are self-taught. This is not true for observation skills which are perfected after an external aid i.e. lectures by Professor Scudder. A student will become good listeners after going through a process of active and continuous practice. In his study, Howard explained vividly that most learners tend to hear what they think they will hear. This is likely to bring about misunderstanding while in the process of teaching and learning. It further inhibits the span of attention which William compared it with the ‘mating of a fly’.

In the present day society, persons classified as educated makes bad listeners. They are always afraid that if they lend their ears to other party, they are most likely to receive a bad feedback. The book learning to listen describes fully a civilized man who pays attention to other people while in a conversation. It is apparent from the literature that a discussion deficit of listening is likely to plunge into an unpleasant argument with errors. This is contrasted with learning to see where a learner follows instruction given by an instructor to discover hidden details. Before the advent of books, listening was considered the best approach to learning.

Compared to reading, writing and thinking, listening is more complex requiring a learner to synchronize mental powers with extrinsic forces i.e. what a student is listening to. This is also inter-linked with the power to exercise control with other body organs.

For a learner to become a good listener, free time should be utilized going through topics and analyze it before an address by a speaker. Classroom environment is the best place for a student to learn how to use both eyes and ears in the listening process. Learning is effective when sight is utilized all the time. It is also possible to compare things by just observing carefully what can be seen around. Dissection, preparation and examination of diverse parts of an insect employ use of sight in observation process.

This fact led to a positive end result during training process conducted by Professor Scudder. Lessons learnt from eight month training in observation accrued much benefit when compared with benefits from listening.


We can now conclude that learning to see starts with capturing the most obvious and distinct feature to a detailed analysis of an area of study.

All body senses are particularly exploited during a learning experience. On the other hand, learning to listen requires a learner to synchronize mental powers with extrinsic forces. Nevertheless, learning to listen is the easiest skill to learn but hard to perfect compared to learning to see.


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