6. Promoting Discussion

Communicating Science students in Promoting Discussions session


Perhaps the only thing as important to good teaching as questioning strategies is responding strategies! There is much research supporting the idea that the ways in which a teacher responds to students’ questions, answers, and ideas can profoundly influence the learning environment and tone in a classroom.

Is the environment one in which it is safe to share your ideas and to ask what you don’t know? Is critical and original thinking valued by a teacher, or just right answers?

Promoting discussions that draw in all students can help a teacher understand what students are thinking, and help to create an open intellectual environment where students learn through discourse.

This session focuses on how teachers can build upon students’ diverse responses to questions to engage them in learning through discussions. It offers a number of practical discussion-leading strategies. Through a series of engaging activities, these strategies are modeled and background information supporting their use is provided.


Session 6: Promoting Discussion (as a PDF)

Session 6: Promoting Discussion (PowerPoint, supplemental)