Using discussion helps promote student learning

by Carina Seagrave
UF master’s student

My presentation topic was Using Discussion in the Classroom.  Some important information which should have been taken from my presentation is listed below:

  • Discussion helps students internalize lessons
  • Discussion gives teacher another method for testing their students
  • Discussion helps us form arguments, articulate positions and learn from others
  • The Socratic Method is when a teacher argues against a student’s point of view to get them to see another
  • Information Retrieval helps teacher’s test student knowledge but isn’t a discussion technique

In addition to what I shared in my teaching presentation,  I wanted to include a few other points.

The first is to divide class time into lecture, discussion, group work, and visual aids. The average attention span of a human being is about 45 minutes so teachers should always keep that in mind when teaching.

The second is that teachers should always reword what students say during discussion so that (A) students who didn’t hear it can get it a second time and (B) to clarify information before speaking further on it.

An important resource to my presentation and a great resource for new teachers was the “Penn State Teacher II.”  This handbook was written for new teachers at the university level and is a compilation of helpful articles written by scholars on teaching.

Carina Seagrave is a student in Mass Communication Teaching.

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