Discussion involves the exchange between people any given idea or topic. It can be formal or informal and can be in large groups or small groups.

It is an effective teaching technique which promote the sharing of information and it involves the student. One of the key ways to promote communication is through discussion.

How to use Discussion

  • You must be prepared to encourage and begin your discussion when appropriate . it is a way to take advantage of a teachable moment.
  • Moment – interesting discussion which are unplanned may arise. Formal discussions requires some planning and possible informal discussion can be planned but the spontaneous discussion can be equally effective. The teacher will have to decide whether discussion take place in small groups or involve the whole class.
  • The teacher should have a reason for utilizing discussion in the classroom.

Checklist for Utilizing Meaningful Discussion

  • How will the discussion enhance the teaching experience of all students.
  • What will be emphasized in terms of the discussion. The content of the discussion or both.
  • How will students be evaluated.
  • How will the teacher get all students to participate in the discussion.
  • The teacher should make clear any rules the student will be required to show prior to the discussion.
  • There must be a recorder for each group but if the whole class is to serve as a group, the teacher can act as an impartial recorder and record all the activities on the board.
  • The teacher should encourage the participation of all students.

Things teachers must consider before creating a discussion.

  • Establish a stress free environment
  • Establish or arrange their sitting positions in a way that they can have a eye contact
  • Never encourage the idea that teachers is all knowing. You should as much as possible learn.
  • Teachers must be supportive and refrain from dominating and discussion.
  • Teacher should make research before the class.
  • Decide which form of discussion is appropriate for the topic being discussed either formal, informal, large, small group discussion.
  • The discussion must have purpose and focus.
  • Consider the group dynamic, lay down the rules e.g. be considerate in the class, do not interrupt, do not insult, ignore the teacher or student, you encourage rather than discourage them.
  • Make sure you put it in mind that one or two students may want to dominate the discussion.