Do you like to have a free-flowing exchange of ideas in the classroom? Do you encourage and nurture dissenting opinions? Do your students feel empowered to voice their thoughts and critiques of research or ideas?
If you answered ‘YES’ to all of the above questions, you’re leading a fantastic classroom filled with a lot of engaging discussion. Bravo!
But if you aren’t satisfied with the level of discourse taking place in (and out of) the classroom, then this flowchart from Wonkblog is for you. It’s designed to help anyone (not just students or teachers) engage in a discussion about a topic they don’t agree with. For example, let’s say a student cites some research in a project-based learning assignment that another student doesn’t think is quite relevant. How would that student voice his or her opinion? Is interrupting okay? Is one opinion better than another?
If you’re not totally sure about the best way to engage with students who may be at odds with each other, take a minute to browse through this handy guide which can be easily used to manage classroom discussion. It might just lead your next discussion in a whole new route to different understandings of the key topics you’re looking to cover. What’s better than some unexpectedly fruitful learning situations?