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ERIC Number: ED346453
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Climate for Controversy.
Reid, Louann
A study investigated student involvement in large-group discussion. A high school sophomore American literature class and a world literature class for juniors and seniors were each observed for a semester. Students were asked to provide their definitions of knowledge and learning in a survey. From the 36 responses received, four perspectives emerged: (1) knowledge is content, while learning is process; (2) knowledge is process, while learning is interaction; (3) knowledge is global, while learning is memorization; and (4) knowledge is global, while learning is willingness to broaden horizons. When asked to describe a class discussion they enjoyed and to explain what they thought made a successful class discussion, students mentioned the topic, participants, atmosphere, and teacher involved. Conclusions of the study gave rise to attempts to improve class discussions. Groups of students took part in "fishbowl" discussions, addressing topics in small groups while the rest of the class observed. In a "conflict corners" activity, students divided into groups based upon their positions on controversial topics. In another activity, students debated the merits and evils of frequently challenged works of American literature. The goal of class discussion should be to help students view issues through the eyes of others. (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A