The Importance of Conversation and Discussion in the Classroom

The Importance of Conversation and Discussion in the Classroom

Student participation in the classroom is of pivotal important in order for young people to grow, adapt and learn. Yes, we all have those days when trying to encourage student participation is akin to pulling teeth, however, if the correct strategic processes are in place within an encouraging learning environment, you’re on the right track.

Maintaining Student Focus

If a student is interested in the delivery of a subject matter, it encourages them to participate. Appropriate and engaging delivery adds interest. This is why it can be hard to maintain students’ focus and attention when all they hear is someone talking at them. Discourse within the classroom means that the students’ feel valued and can engage with fellow students and teachers alike.

Questions – a good, thought-provoking question can pique students’ interests. Engagement is pivotal within the classroom so encouraging them to ponder why things work the way they do and to feel motivated to find out more is an excellent tool to enhance their learning experience.

Classroom Interaction – involving the students’ as much as possible can benefit them greatly. Getting them to understand methods and concepts on their own, use the board to display this to the rest of the class or even talk about subjects within the classrooms allows you to grasp their level of understanding. Not only that, but it can boost their confidence and teamwork skills.

Feedback – feedback can go a long way on both sides. Of course, providing a student with feedback allows them to grow and move forward, helping them to understand what they must work on in order to succeed. But inviting students’ to provide you with feedback can be an excellent way to find out what methods work in the classroom.

Avoid Disruption

When we talk about encouraging noise and conversation in the classroom, of course we want to avoid destructive behavior and promote and support intellectual communication. Student engagement is so important, but if the excitement level is just slightly too high then things can soon get out of hand. To ensure you don’t allow things to become unruly, provide the class with tasks in between the discussions. This gives them the opportunity to re-engage their minds and focus.

Participation can be used to control what’s happening in class. For example, if a student is nodding off, texting, quietly chatting, or otherwise not focusing on what’s happening, that student should be acknowledged and dealt with accordingly. However, be clear about why they aren’t participating with the lesson so that they can learn from the experience.

What Does Conversation and Discussion in the Classroom Promote?

  • Improved verbal processing
  • More of a concrete understanding
  • Testing and exploring new ideas
  • Knowledge and insight from diverse points of view
  • Problem solving
  • Tolerance for ambiguity or complexity increases
  • Attentive and respectful listening is encouraged
  • Intellectual agility is increased
  • Topic connections
  • Develops the capacity for the clear communication of ideas and meaning
  • Encourages habits of collaborative learning
  • Skills of synthesis and integration

Student Participation in the Classroom

Participation encourages dialogue among other students and people out with the learning environment. Participation gives students the opportunity to practice using the language of the discipline. Most learning establishments teach astronomy, accounting, psychology, gerontology, political science, whatever the field for years, and they’ve forgotten how much of the language is new, different, and difficult for students. Participation gives students the chance to practice using a different vocabulary, setting them up for life.

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