December 3, 2008 11:11 AM Subscribe
Calling all professors and teachers: What is crucial to keep in mind in order to foster a successful class discussion?
posted by umbú to education (20 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
I teach undergrads and graduate students--mostly undergrads. Now that the semester is almost over, I'm in the process of assessing what has worked and what hasn't in my courses. I've come to the conclusion that I need to hone my skills in facilitating class discussion.
I've read the tips in pedagogy books like Tools for Teachers, and they are helpful, but there is an improvisatory element to what goes on in the unscripted moments in class that, I've found, books like this don't fully address.
Can you think of any specific classroom moments that taught you something valuable about how to best lead discussions? How to make them less perfunctory to more inspiring?
Some of the areas I've been thinking specifically about include: formulating thought-provoking questions on the fly; getting students to talk to each other, not just to me or for me; keeping students focused, but relaxed.