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ERIC Number: ED138330
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: N/A
The Use of Small Groups in the American Government Classroom.
Manikas, William T.
While the use of the lecture method of instructional delivery is recognized as important and valuable, teaching must be directed beyond mere content in order that students can develop other skills that transcend the boundaries of a given course. Small discussion groups in an American Government course, used as a supplement to lecture-based instruction, may be effective in facilitating development of students' oral communications, their ability to analyze and evaluate critically, their capacity to identify relationships between phenomena, and their ability to use people as legitimate sources of information. Discussion groups should be composed of the most diverse members of a class, rather than those who are most similar. The cohesiveness of each group is important to the efficiency of information-sharing; groups must remain intact throughout the course and should not exceed twelve members. Activities which have been found useful in the context of a class in American Government include "brainstorming" and "consensus-seeking". Through these exercises, group members gain appreciation for both the processes and substance of group decision-making and interaction and develop skills in interpersonal relationships. Techniques for building and utilizing information-sharing groups in the classroom, suggested group activities, and evaluation data for a course conducted by this method compared to a traditional lecture course are presented. (JDS)
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Course Descriptions, Decision Making Skills, Discussion Groups, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Divergent Thinking, Group Discussion, Group Dynamics, Information Utilization, Interaction, Interpersonal Competence, Political Science, Problem Solving, Small Group Instruction, Teaching Methods, Two Year Colleges, United States Government (Course)
Publication Type: Guides - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A