Presentation on theme: "Discussion as a Way of Teaching STEPHEN BROOKFIELD Distinguished University Professor, University of St. Thomas STEPHEN BROOKFIELD Distinguished University."— Presentation transcript:
Discussion as a Way of Teaching STEPHEN BROOKFIELD Distinguished University Professor, University of St. Thomas STEPHEN BROOKFIELD Distinguished University Professor, University of St. Thomas
OUTCOMESOUTCOMES At the end of this session you will be able to conduct Circle of Voices Circular Response Chalk Talk Newsprint Dialog Rotating Stations Appreciative Pause Critical Incident Questionnaire Snowballing Conversational Moves Hatful of Quotes Participation Grading Audit At the end of this session you will be able to conduct Circle of Voices Circular Response Chalk Talk Newsprint Dialog Rotating Stations Appreciative Pause Critical Incident Questionnaire Snowballing Conversational Moves Hatful of Quotes Participation Grading Audit
TEN QUESTIONS … What do you hope to achieve by using discussion? What has stopped you from participating in discussions? What happens when a discussion goes well? What does it look, feel & sound like? What does a good discussion leader do? How can we create the conditions for good discussion?
Ten Questions What’s the worst discussion you’ve ever participated in and what made it so awful? What would it take for you to overcome your resistance to take part in a discussion? Which discussion methods work best for you? When is using discussion counterproductive, inappropriate or a waste of time? Think about the best discussion leader you’ve experienced. What did she do that was so impressive?
Chief Claims for Discussion Cognitive – it helps students appreciate the complexity of content Communicative – it strengthens their ability to think & speak extemporaneously & clearly Socio-political – it provides an analog of democratic exchange & decision-making Affective – it solidifies students’emotional connections to subject matter
Why Discussions Fail Learning Unsuited to Discussion Unprepared Students Unrealistic Expectations No Ground Rules Reward Systems Askew No Teacher Modeling
Critical Incident Questionnaire Moment most engaged as a learner Moment most distanced as a learner Most affirming/helpful action Most puzzling/confusing action What surprised you most These are anonymously completed - the instructor reads these & reports main findings at start of next class with time for discussion (if needed)
Creating Ground Rules Individuals reflect on features of best & worst discussions they’ve experienced Groups discuss commonly agreed features of best & worst discussions For each feature group asks how can this be encouraged &/or eliminated Class creates ground rules with teacher assistance (the 3 person rule, rotating roles, building on others’ contributions, providing evidence)
Circle of Voices Individuals reflect on the discussion topic (1-3 minutes) Individuals reflect on the discussion topic (1-3 minutes) Participants go round the circle in order - each person has up to 1 minute of uninterrupted air time to give their viewpoint on the topic. No interruptions are allowed. Participants go round the circle in order - each person has up to 1 minute of uninterrupted air time to give their viewpoint on the topic. No interruptions are allowed. Move into free discussion with the ground rule that every comment offered must somehow refer back to a comment made by someone else in the opening circle of voices. This need NOT be agreement - it can be a disagreement, a question, an elaboration or extension, an illustration, and so on. Move into free discussion with the ground rule that every comment offered must somehow refer back to a comment made by someone else in the opening circle of voices. This need NOT be agreement - it can be a disagreement, a question, an elaboration or extension, an illustration, and so on.
3 PERSON RULE ONCE YOU HAVE SPOKEN YOU MAY NOT MAKE ANOTHER COMNTRIBUTION UNTIL AT LEAST 3 OTHERS HAVE SPOKEN - UNLESS SOMEONE ASKS YOU DIRECTLY TO EXPAND ON YOUR COMMENT
Snowballing People spend time individually reflecting on the topic Form into pairs & share reflections Pairs form into quartets Quartets form into octets AND SO ON & SO ON!! AND SO ON & SO ON!! (An alternative way to move from small to whole group discussion)
STRUCTURED SILENCE Every 15 minutes students write individually on 3x5 cards ONE of the following - most important point, most puzzling point, question they’d most like to discuss, something new they’ve learned - in the discussion so far. Cards shuffled & responses read out by different students Every 15 minutes students write individually on 3x5 cards ONE of the following - most important point, most puzzling point, question they’d most like to discuss, something new they’ve learned - in the discussion so far. Cards shuffled & responses read out by different students
SPIRAL CONVERSATION ONCE YOU HAVE SPOKEN YOU DO NOT SPEAK AGAIN UNTIL EVERYONE IN THE GROUP HAS CONTRIBUTED. FACILITATOR MONITORS THIS PROCESS - LATER CONTRIBUTORS CAN AGREE, DISAGREE OR PASS
Conversational Moves Bring 3x5 cards to class with moves typed on each of them. Participants choose 1 of these cards randomly. EXAMPLES OF SPECIFIC MOVES Ask a question or make a comment that shows you are interested in another’s comments Make a comment that underscores the link between 2 previous contributions Make a comment clearly building on what someone else has said - make this link explicit Make a summary observation on a recurring theme in the discussion Express appreciation for how another’s comments have helped your understanding Disagree with someone in a respectful way
Circular Response (Eduard Lindeman) Individuals reflect on a topic for discussion Form into circles of 6-8 One person starts by giving her reflections on the topic. Up to 1 minute allowed - no interruptions Person to left of 1st speaker goes next - whatever she says MUST somehow refer to/build on previous speaker’s comments (can be a disagreement or express confusion). Up to 1 minute allowed - no interruptions Process continues leftwards around the circle with people speaking in order until all have participated Group moves into open conversation with no particular ground rules in force
Mutual Invitation (Eric Law - The Wolf Shall dwell with the Lamb) Facilitator begins by sharing her views on the topic Facilitator chooses who will speak next - this person can pass but then chooses who will speak in their turn No-one can interrupt the chosen speaker Once all have spoken participants move into open discussion with no ground rules
Critical Conversation Protocol Storyteller tells the tale - no interruptions Detectives ask questions about story Detectives report out assumptions they hear Detectives offer alternative interpretations Participants do an experiential audit (what have we learned, would do differently etc.) Umpire enforces ground rules throughout
Discussion Inventory Tell students you reserve 5-10 minutes at the end of the discussion to offer your thoughts On a notepad record:- - clear errors of fact or understanding, - perspectives that are ignored, - oppositional views that are smothered Articulate these for 5-10 minutes before giving participants ‘the last word’ & the CIQ
Hatful of Quotes Type out 5-6 provocative quotes from assigned reading on a 3x5 card (each quote will be on several cards) Put these in a hat & have participants choose a card at random Participants take turns (at their choosing) to respond to these quotes - or to earlier comments on these quotes
Quotes to Affirm & Challenge Each participant brings in a quote she wishes to affirm, & one she wishes to challenge, from the assigned reading Quotes to affirm - resonate with experience, explain difficult concepts clearly, add significant new information, are cogently expressed, are rhetorically powerful etc. Quotes to challenge - immoral/unethical, poorly expressed, factually wrong, contradict experience Quotes are shared in small groups & each group chooses ONE to affirm & ONE to challenge In large group conversation the small group communicates rationales for each of these choices
NOMINATING QUESTIONS Small groups come up with 1-2 questions they want to discuss further Groups post questions on posters or black/white board Students individually put a check against 2 questions they would like to discuss more Whole class discussion is structured around questions with most votes
Newsprint Dialogue Small groups put their deliberations on newsprint sheets - no reporter is chosen to report these out Newsprint sheets are then posted around the room & blank sheets posted next to each sheet Each participant takes a marker & wanders by herself around the room - she writes her questions, reactions, agreements etc. directly onto the sheets or on the blanks posted next to them Groups reassemble at their postings to see what others have written
CHALK TALK Facilitator writes a question in the center of the board & circles it Whenever they wish people go to the board & write responses to question Others draw lines between responses to show connections/differences Facilitator adds responses as needed
Rotating Stations Small groups record their deliberations on newsprint sheets and hang these on the wall - a blank sheet hangs next to each group’s posting Staying in their small groups, each group visits the posting next to theirs - as a group they post their reactions to the posting on the blank sheets Group’s rotate until they arrive at their own posting. They review all the previous groups’ comments Whole class discussion follows on how groups reacted to other groups’ postings
GRADING FOR PARTICIPATION: BEHAVIORAL INDICATORS Ask a question of a peer that draws out their thinking Bring in a resource not covered in the syllabus that adds new info. or ideas Make a comment that underscores the link between 2 people’s comments Use body language to show interest in a person’s contribution
PARTICIPATION (II) Post an online comment that summarizes our discussion or suggests a new direction Make a comment (online is ok) about how you found another’s comments useful or interesting. Be as specific as possible. Contribute something that builds on what another has said - be explicit about how you are doing this
PARTICIPATION (III) Make a comment on the CIQ or online that helps us examine discussion dynamics Ask a cause and effect question Express appreciation for how the discussion has helped you understand something better (online is OK). Be specific about exactly what was helpful. Summarize several people’s comments
PARTICIPATION AUDIT HOW DID YOU? … Express Appreciation for a Contribution Connect 2 or 3 previous comments Point out differences Draw out another’s thinking Ask a helpful question Contribute a new idea
APPRECIATIVE PAUSE Comments allowed only that thank people for: A question that was asked that suggested a new line of thinking A comment that clarified a confusing idea A new idea or piece of information not considered before A comment showing the connection between two other ideas An example given that helped understanding a difficult concept
Discussion Learning Audit As a result of today’s discussion … What do you know that you didn’t know this time last week? What can you do that you couldn’t do this time last week? What could you teach someone else to know or do that you couldn’t teach them this time last week?
What Would it Take? Former resisters testified to its utility Faculty modeled their own participation My silence was not misconstrued I was not coerced into speech Open - not a guessing game of ‘what the teacher thinks’ Group developed & observed ground rules Participation was assessed by multiple indicators