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Facilitating Discourse

    Discourse - the ways of representing, thinking, talking, agreeing and disagreeing - is central to what students learn. The teacher's role is to initiate and orchestrate discourse and to use it skillfully to foster student learning (NCTM) Under this link are articles related to strategies teacher can use to facilitate discussion - skills for listening, responding and questioning to promote student learning.

  • The Peaks and Valleys of Online Professional Development
    Online professional development (PD) fits today’s fast changing K-12 educational environment where demands on teachers and re-certification require teachers to continually learn new and challenging content and pedagogy. This paper draws on two online professional development projects to discuss what is valuable about online PD, identify some successes, some problems, and provide tips for those doing online PD.
  • "Facilitating Discussion: A Brief Guide" by Katherine K. Gottschalk
    Discussion helps students become not just ready receptacles for our wisdom but active participants in learning. They can develop new interests, figure out what they believe, or don't believe, and, in general, gain confidence in their intellectual abilities.
  • Connecting with Students
    Allen N. Mendler shows how to provide acknowledgement without disruption.
  • Facilitating Equitable Class Discussions in a Multicultural Classroom
    Topically focused class discussions potentially offer English learners rich exposure to new vocabulary and usage in their second language, along with opportunities to interact in a variety of academic situations - reporting information, summarizing, synthesizing, and debating. Frequently, however, linguistically and culturally diverse students remain passive participants in whole-class discussions for varied reasons, including insecurity about their listening comprehension, pronunciation, word choice, and culturally appropriate interactional strategies.
  • How to Respond When Students Give the Wrong Answer
    Incorrect answers can often provide clues to what students don't understand. The suggestions provided here can help teachers better understand where their students are having difficulty.
  • Interaction Skills
    Effective communication skills are the building blocks for the development of positive interactions in the classroom. This article discusses the impact of the physical setting, instructor attitude, hints for encouraging student participation, wait-time for questioning, handling student responses to questions, and responding to students' questions.
  • Research on Error Correction and Implications for Classroom Teaching
    This article focuses on error correction in the context of second language programs. Four general suggestions for corrective feedback have implications for all classrooms.
  • Talk in the Classroom
    Originally published in Instructor magazine (1990) by Brenda Power. This article explores the Initiation-Response-Evaluation trap into which teachers may fall, and examines the role of open-ended questions, rich conversations, and wait time to advamce student learning.
  • What Did You Say? Using Nonverbal Communication to Improve Teacher Effectiveness
    As much as 93% of all communication is non-verbal, suggesting that teachers can increase their effectiveness with careful attention to the unspoken as well as spoken messages they convey to students.

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