Listen up: Improving the quality of classroom discussion


We have two ears and only one tongue in order that we may hear more and speak less.

Pupils are asked to discuss stuff in class all the time. As, from time to time, are teachers. Think back to the last discussion you took part in. No matter how civilised they are, it tends to be an exercise in patience; we spend a lot of time waiting for everyone else to shut up so we can have our say. Inevitably, this de facto approach allows discussion to be dominated by the loudest, most confident participants. As John Wayne put it, we are often “short on ears and long on mouth.”

This begs two questions:

  1. Is it worth spending classroom time on having discussions?
  2. And if so, how can we improve their quality?

Read more on The Learning Spy

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