ERIC Number: ED230101
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Participatory Discussion. Teaching in Higher Education Series: 4. Suggestions for the Consideration of Lecturers and Others Concerned with Teaching in Higher Education.
Cockburn, Barbara; Ross, Alec
The nature and process of participatory discussion are discussed, and reference is made to the British system of tutor-led groups. It is suggested that discussion is the essence of university life, since it can be used to discover the ways in which students view the knowledge and principles that the scholar presents. Discussion also provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate the relevance of their perceptions to the accumulated knowledge the scholar represents. Attention is also directed to the following discussion processes and skills: listening, responses, silence, moving a discussion forward, summarizing, evaluation, interpretation, the connections that should be made, questions, and habits. In addition, the following factors that inhibit discussion are noted: shyness, the size of the group and the lack of opportunity to participate, and tutors or students that talk too much. It is suggested that to facilitate participation, the tutor might ask students to think about a particular topic before the group meets. Another approach would be to change the group's format (e.g., subgroups can work together on a small project that engages them in forming their own views). Ways to encourage the talkative to listen are also noted. (SW)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Lancaster Univ. (England). School of Education.
Note: For related documents, see HE 016 159-167. Produced with the aid of a grant from the University Grants Committee.