To Discuss or Not to Discuss?

Discussions are unpredictable, time consuming, difficult to record and lack the common teaching styles based on rote and recitation. So what is the point of rocking the boat and introducing such a teaching technique into your classroom?

Benefits for your students:

  • Makes learning memorable
  • Students develop key skills: listening, opediscussion-wordlen mind, respect, articulation, verbal communication,
  • Students must justify views not just express them – necessary for top exam answers
  • Establishes a positive learning environment – forming a relationship between students

Benefits for a teacher:

  • Assess whether students have understood information/ syllabus material and any areas that may need to be recapped or revised further
  • Discrete way to assess students strengths and weaknesses
  • Easy way to challenge high potential students –justify your view without being obvious and supporting struggling students by offering them a range of different views

But these are my reasons why I think discussions are an invaluable teaching method within my classroom. But to really know what students think about discussions – I asked them!

  1. “A discussion allows us to evolve our own ideas using the points made by others and to apply them effectively.”
  2. “I think it is important to have an open environment, everyone should listen to each other and respect what people say.”
  3. “My teacher is unbiased and always asks you ‘why’ to make you really consider your answer.”
  4. “The lack of strict moderation with regard to who speaks and for how long (within moderation) allows a dynamic and in depth discussion.”
  5. “No one’s views are disregarded.”
  6. “Helps you to see other points of view and gain perspective. This helps to avoid bias in exam essays and understand the topics more.”
  7. “Improves concentration in lessons.”
  8. “I believe it is very important to let the discussion flow instead of having too much intervention.

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