ERIC Number: ED334576
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-22
Reference Count: 0
Group Discussion Strategies for a Diverse Student Population.
In a diverse population such as the one at the University of New Mexico, a population made up of a variety of ethnic groups including Hispanic, Navajo, Japanese, and Anglo students, instructors need to give a voice to every student, to point out differences, similarities, universal and not-so-universal ideas, all of which enrich everyone's store of knowledge. Students in a very reticent English 101 class discussed nonfiction essays prior to writing essays of their own. Class discussion was carried out by only 3 or 4 students out of a class of 20. In an effort to remedy this, an informal questionnaire was completed by the students regarding what would help them to join in class discussions. Following this, on the basis of the students' responses, Benjamin Bloom's (1956) taxonomy of educational objectives, and various writings on collaborative learning, the instructor provided the students with a series of questions for the essays to be discussed. Students answered the questions before coming to class and then participated in small group discussion based on the questions. The questions were written so that there was one from each of the domains of Bloom's taxonomy. Since there were four different question sheets for each essay and four students per small discussion group, each student in a group had a different sheet of questions and thus a sense of authority. While some students still did not participate in class, many students improved the content of their essays and more students participated in large group discussions. In another diverse, yet vociferous English 101 class, students initiated and directed classroom discussion. Groups of three students presented an essay from the textbook to the class. These student presentations were an outstanding success. Using these strategies, even the quiet students participated in class discussions. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Blooms Taxonomy; University of New Mexico
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).