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DISCUSSION: THE HOW AND THE WHY

Среда 9 Сентябрь 2015


Термин деятельность включает в себя дискуссию, обработку собранных данных и опрос.

There are many terms used to define what takes place after an activity. These terms include discussions, processing and debriefing. A good healthy discussion flows around the teacher not back and forth from teacher to student


настроение: деятельностное

ключевые слова: задавать правильные вопросы, критическое мышление, делиться мнениями вслух, направление

город: г.Железнодорожный, Московская обл

e-mail: Oldoro2005@yahoo.com

The teacher has two roles during the discussion. The first role is to establish the format by deciding how students will take turns expressing their opinions. The second role is asking questions. This will consist of opening a discussion with a question and continuing asking questions that help the students to explore the activity and apply it to their lives. If we, teachers, wish a free exchange of ideas during the question time, we must be sure that we do not interject our own opinion overtly or covertly.

A discussion emphasizes learning rather than teaching. Students do not only think about the issues, but they also learn to ask the right questions about themselves and others. This is the beginning of critical thinking. I have noticed that discussed information is remembered longer and becomes more meaningful to students. When students share aloud, they become more confident in their opinions.

The Basics of Starting a Discussion

Ground rules for a great discussion:

  1. Students learn to take turns speaking.
  2. Students learn to value each person’s opinion and experiences.
  3. Students learn to clarify and review what they have learned.
  4. The teacher is able to hear what his/her students are thinking, feeling and experiencing in a friendly environment.

Here come questions to avoid:

  1. Questions that have a right or wrong answer.
  2. Questions that can be answered “yes” or “no”.
  3. A question within a question.
  4. Questions that the students do not have enough experience to answer.

Sometimes after you have asked a provocative question, the discussion starts to run into some rough spots. This is where teacher’s question asking skills become important. You can use these phrases:

  • “Can you give us examples…?
  • “What makes you believe that…?”
  • “Why do you feel that way…?”
  • “Could you expand on that…?”
  • “Misha, you have told us a great idea. What do others think?”

It is not a secret that some students will hesitate to speak in a group because they are shy or they feel their contribution is not very valuable. We can use a variety of techniques to draw them into discussion. It is very important to realize that everyone benefits from a discussion, not just those that talk. Here are some tips:

  1. Use questions that ask for opinions rather than facts.
  2. Have the students write down their opinions and then read them to their class for comment.
  3. Ask a student what does he/she think of another student’s comment.
  4. Ask someone who has not contributed yet for a comment.

Here is a task I use to get a response from kids who normally say very little[1].

Take 4Х6 note cards and print words that express feelings on them. Then, after an activity has been completed, spread these cards on a table. Tell the students to look over the words and choose the card that most closely explains the feelings that they have experienced during the activity. They can choose more than one card.

Then ask them to share their cards with the group and explain why they chose that particular card. By choosing the card, they have already made a decision on what they want to talk about. When it is their turn to talk, students feel quite free about explaining their choice of the card rather than being stuck on explaining the feeling.

Here is the list of words I usually use.

Excited

Angry

Determined

Proud

Important

Effective

Restless

Intelligent

Pressured

Emotional

Stupid

Hurt

Lazy

Silly

Bored

Worried

Lonely

Happy

Organized

Powerful

Ignored

Cheerful

Helpless

Bossy

Sad

Frustrated

Surprised

Scared

Eager

Terrible

Relaxed

Calm

Nervous

Disagreeable

Quarrelsome

Mixed up

Anxious

Tense

Flexible

Sometimes, when a discussion is slowing down, you would like to do something that adds closure to the activity. One good technique is to have each person complete a sentence.

The only rule is that they can’t complete the sentence with a phrase that has already been used.

I have given my students these sentences to complete:

  • In today’s activity I learned…
  • In today’s activity I relearned…
  • In today’s activity I was surprised…
  • In today’s activity I was pleased that…
  • One thing I have learned from this activity is…
  • I can use what I learned from this activity when I…

There are many different formats that can be used for discussions instead of the traditional “teacher asks — students answer” format. And teacher can vary them.

Small Groups: Divide your class into groups of three or four students. You can give them one question and have them discuss it until you call time and then give them a second question. For accountability, you can ask one or two groups to share with the rest of the class the main issues discussed in their groups.

Large Group: Traditional format is the best to keep control over the discussion and the class.

Written Answers: Some students do not react well to the pressure of a discussion. They need some time to collect their thoughts and to form their answers. Have your class answer the basic questions that you would like to ask in writing before you open up the discussion.

Thumbs Up: Use this gesture to show if you agree or disagree with a statement.

Tokens: This format helps when you have a few students who dominate the discussions. Give everyone a certain number of tokens or chips. Each time they have a turn during the discussion, they must surrender one of their tokens. When they are out of tokens, they can’t say anything else.

We know that communication is the foundation for success in life. A good discussion can educate our students by its process as well as by what is said. The chance to share ideas and opinions creates the opportunity for students to become better communicators, speakers, listeners and thinkers.


[1] Данное задание можно эффективно использовать при изучении темы «Какие вы?» (6 класс, В. П. Кузовлев).

[links&resources]
1. “More Activities That Teach”, Том Джексон Publisher’s Press 2003 г.

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_learning
3. http://www.studygs.net/activelearn.htm

1 Comment »

николай:

Cпасибо Ольга Николаевна!Ваш материал я с удовольствием использую в своей работе. Успехов Вам в дальнейшем.

27 Сентябрь 2015 | 20:19
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