29 October 2010

DISCUSSION METHOD OF TEACHING AND LEARNING.

Exchange of ideas between several people is the best process of learning and teaching from one another.
In the classroom environment ,discussion is the best way of promoting conducive learning and convenient teaching situation. It refers to the method of instruction which give pupils an opportunity to express their views or opinions orally on certain issues. One person speaks at a time,while others are listen. It doesn't always involve the presentation of new information and concepts. It also invoves sharing of ideas and experiences ,solving problems and promoting tolerance with understanding. Discussion method is suitable in many situations and can be used in many situations of teaching and learning.There are different forms of discussion that can be used in the classroom.
Kochhar(1985)identifies two major types of discussions which are formal and informal.
Informal discussions are governed by pre-determined set of rules and it includes debates,panels,symposia etc.
Whilst formal discussions may involve whole group or small groups of people divided with the intention of discussing themes . These are not governed by pre-determnined set of rules.Lets focus on the informal type of discussions.
In the classroom discussions involve a free verbal interchange of ideas for all pupils as a whole. Here the teacher is the leader who guides the discussion . Through conducting the discussion process,ask questions and decides on who should speak. This method can be suitably used in the first stage of child book child approach.
This is where the teacher asks about the assummed knowledge through reviewing pupils' experiences .For example Do you have friends? Why do you need friends for? Do you sometimes quarrel with them ? What do you do after have a quarrel with a friend?
Small group discussions is better than a whole class discussion. It encourages more pupils to give their own views through open participation . Pupils are divided into small groups of ,four,five,six ,seven ,eight or nine and given questions or task to discuss and then reportback. Each group should have a group leader who is instructed to control the discussion process and someone who can reportback of what has be discussed.
The group setting arrangements should be in such a way that pupils are relaxed and can hear ,see each otherwell. This type of discussions is more appropriate in the second stage of the child book child approach. Which happens to be evaluation stage where pupils can discuss questions related to the text found in the book.For example in the parable of a prodigal son in the bible pupils can discuss this questions:
•Why do you think father received his son in a positive way?
•Was that the right thing to do?
•Why do you think in such similar situation?
General guidelines to a good discussion should involve a well planning where the teacher should have a clear understanding of the subject topic , content and objectives of the lesson to be discussed.
The teacher's way of giving instructions should be clearly and effectively communicated in an atmosphere that is conducive for free discussions. Please don't ridule or belittle pupils. Rather stimulate their interests by giving positive comments and discourage domination of the discussion by the outspoken members in a group.
A teacher who helped the reserved and shy children is doing good than harm by providing the child with an opportunity to contribute. For example ,''John, what do you think about ? or Helen how do you handle this problem ?''
Stick to the topic and discurage private conversation and should conduct discussions to an end as scheduled.
The major advantages of discussion method are :
◦It teaches interpersonal skills such as understanding and communication.
◦It is child centred through provides an opportunity for pupils to learn from each other,thus encouraging teamwork.
◦It promotes tolerance and helps pupils to understand that they are many aspects or opinions to any one topic.
◦It also helps leadership ,speaking and listening skills.
The demerits of discussion methods includes time consuming ,easily dominated by the outspoken pupils,those perceived to have high sttus. Some pupils may not interested from listening to others and easily get out of hand and lose direction. Moreover some teachers can neglect planning and take advantage of literally this method haphazardly.

1 comment:

  1. Teaching techniques :
    1.Encouraging the students to awaken their curiosity and desire to learn.
    2.Encouraging students to prepare for the lesson before class.
    3.Group analysis, brainstorming, innovation and creative ideas.
    4.Allow students the freedom to expand and develop ideas.
    http://www.tsrs.org/student-development/curriculum-and-pedagogy/teaching-methodology/

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